Ewha university raided in Yoo-ra investigation

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Ewha university raided in Yoo-ra investigation

Ewha Womans University was raided by prosecutors on Tuesday in response to the Ministry of Education’s announcement that Chung Yoo-ra, the 20-year-old daughter of presidential friend Choi Soon-sil, was granted “special treatment” in her admission to the prestigious school as a dressage athlete and was also treated preferentially on her test scores and class attendance records.

Prosecutors combed through 20 areas of the school in Seodaemun District, western Seoul, including the offices of the president, admissions department and Chung’s professors.

Two school officials and former Ewha President Choi Kyung-hee, who resigned last month over mounting allegations she was responsible for the special treatment, had their houses raided, as well.

Prosecutors said they mainly collected paper documents, computer hard disks and cellphones.

Authorities left open the possibility that Chung, who is currently in Germany, could be summoned for questioning, saying Tuesday they will decide whether or not to call her in after reviewing the confiscated goods. Choi Soon-sil’s lawyer said in a statement that he will follow the prosecution’s order.

Hyun Myung-kwan, CEO and chairman of the Korea Racing Authority, was summoned for questioning on Tuesday and asked whether the state-owned company gave Chung special treatment.

Prosecutors also said they would look into allegations that the mother-in-law of Woo Byung-woo, former senior presidential secretary for civil affairs, used to golf with Ewha officials to pressure the school to accept the daughter of the president’s best friend.

After a three-week probe, the Education Ministry announced last Friday that Chung was not qualified for admission to Ewha as a dressage athlete, and that the school disqualified another student to make room for her.

For eight of her courses at Ewha, Chung did not attend a single class, but still got credit for them all. In one course, Chung’s professor submitted a final report on her behalf.

Chung is also suspected to have ordered someone else to take an exam for her.

Lee Joon-sik, education minister and deputy prime minister for social affairs, demanded Ewha cancel Chung’s admission and “severely punish” 17 school faculty members who gave Chung leeway.

BY SONG SEUNG-HWAN, LEE SUNG-EUN [lee.sungeun@joongang.co.kr]

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