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South Korean prosecutors raid homes of Park Geun-hye aides

By
Elizabeth Shim
Prosecutors in South Korea searched the homes of presidential aides suspected of giving access to government documents to Choi Soon-sil, a woman at the center of a corruption scandal that has gripped the country. File Photo by Yonhap
Prosecutors in South Korea searched the homes of presidential aides suspected of giving access to government documents to Choi Soon-sil, a woman at the center of a corruption scandal that has gripped the country. File Photo by Yonhap

SEOUL, Nov. 9 (UPI) -- South Korean prosecutors raided the homes of two presidential aides suspected of giving an influential friend of President Park Geun-hye access to classified government material.

The residences of former aides Lee Jae-man and Ahn Bong-geun, close advisors to the South Korean leader, were searched and private files were seized on Wednesday, South Korean newspaper Segye Ilbo reported.

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Prosecutors had previously found circumstantial evidence both Ahn and Lee were allowing Park's longtime acquaintance Choi Soon-sil access to state documents.

Possessions belonging to Ahn and Lee that were seized on Wednesday include business and personal diaries, mobile phones and other devices.

Investigators had also found on Choi's computer tablet evidence the presidential aides had shared with Choi their IDs that could allow her to access and edit documents.

The records suggest Choi had received the president's speeches, details on secret meetings with North Korea, and information on Park's trips overseas.

Prosecutors had said on Tuesday the president's private secretary Jeong Ho-seong had handled the transmission of documents through an informal channel as well as through more official forms of communication.

Ahn is also suspected of allowing Choi and her daughter Chung Yoo-ra access to the presidential Blue House, sometimes providing his own vehicle as transportation.

Chung is believed to have received preferential treatment when she was admitted to a selective university in Seoul.

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