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Prosecutors seek asset freeze on ex-president over NIS bribery

All News 11:09 January 08, 2018

SEOUL, Jan. 8 (Yonhap) -- Prosecutors requested a court order on Monday to freeze the assets of former President Park Geun-hye to forfeit them in case of a conviction of bribery involving the state spy agency.

The Seoul Central District Prosecutors' Office said it has filed for the temporary asset seizure. If the court grants it, Park will be forbidden from making transactions with her bank savings or property, including sales, transfers or putting property up for lease, it said.

On Thursday, Park was indicted for additional bribery and loss of state funds charges for accepting some 3.65 billion won (US$3.43 million) from the National Intelligence Service (NIS) between May 2013 and July 2016. She is already on trial over 18 different charges in connection with a corruption scandal that removed her from office in March last year.

Park's assets are estimated at around 3.73 billion won as of the end of 2016, although it has likely changed given that legal procedures since the scandal broke should have incurred considerable costs.

The court order can freeze her assets until the end of the trial for the NIS bribery case.

Prosecutors have obtained a similar court order for 7.8 billion won allegedly paid as kickbacks by Samsung to Choi Soon-sil, Park's longtime friend at the center of the scandal. Park's assets were ruled out at the time as subject for a freeze since the prosecution determined that Choi was the prime beneficiary in the alleged crime.

Prosecutors seek asset freeze on ex-president over NIS bribery - 1

elly@yna.co.kr
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