Prosecutors arrest Ko Young-tae

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Prosecutors arrest Ko Young-tae

Prosecutors have arrested a former associate of ousted President Park Geun-hye’s close friend, who made key testimonies in relation to an influence-peddling scandal that removed Park from office, they said Wednesday.

Prosecutors said Ko Young-tae, who used to be Choi Soon-sil’s close associate, was put into custody at the Seoul Central District Prosecutors’ Office on Tuesday evening with a court-issued warrant. Prosecutors can detain him for up to 48 hours.

He is alleged to have received some 20 million won ($17,400) from an official at the customs office in return for exerting influence on personnel issues.

Ko, who made some clothing items and bags for the former president, revealed the controversial relations between Park and Choi last year, claiming that Choi received and edited the ex-president’s speeches in advance. Choi had no policy experience nor held any official post in the Park administration.

While Ko was praised by some as a whistleblower, some raised suspicions that he made the disclosure to gain control of a company owned by Choi and said he was one of the key figures who exploited Choi’s ties to the former president.

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