S Korea special prosecutor: President Park colluded with friend to receive Samsung bribe

S Korea special prosecutor: President Park colluded with friend to receive Samsung bribe
Protesters wearing masks of South Korean President Park Geun-Hye (bottom) and her confidante Choi Soon-Sil (top) perform before a candle-lit rally in central Seoul on Oct 29, 2016, to denounce Park over a high-profile corruption and influence-peddling scandal involving her close friend.
PHOTO: AFP

SEOUL - South Korea's President Park Geun-hye colluded with her friend Choi Soon-sil to receive bribes from Samsung Group, which was aimed to cement Samsung Chief Jay Y. Lee's control of the company, a special prosecutor said in a statement on Monday.

In a statement detailing the findings of its investigation, the special prosecutor's office said the National Pension Service voted in favour of a merger of two Samsung Group affiliates in 2015, despite anticipating a 138.8 billion won (S$169 million) loss.

The investigation looked into an influence-peddling scandal involving Park, who was impeached by parliament in December after accusations she had colluded with her long-time friend Choi to pressure big businesses to donate to two foundations set up to back the president's policy initiatives.

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