Daughter of Korean ferry disaster tycoon to fight extradition from France

PARIS -The daughter of a fugitive Korean tycoon accused of being responsible for a ferry disaster that killed 300 passengers will fight moves to extradite her from France, her lawyer said on Wednesday.

Yoo Som-na, 47, was arrested late last month in her Paris residence and detained under an international arrest warrant in connection with possible charges of embezzlement, tax fraud and criminal negligence.

She faces court hearings for an extradition procedure that could take several months.

"We will fight her extradition right to the end and through all means possible and imaginable," her lawyer said on the sidelines of a court hearing in Paris on Wednesday during which her request to be temporarily set free was rejected.

Yoo Som-na's father Yoo Byung-eun and his eldest son Yoo Dae-kyun are being hunted by Korean authorities who suspect breaches of safety standards may have led to the April 16 tragedy in which 300 people, mostly schoolchildren, lost their lives.

Korean prosecutors also wish to speak to another son who lives in the United States on related charges.

Yoo Som-na's court appearance came as some 6,000 Korean police forced their way into the compound of a religious group in Anseong, south of Seoul, to look for her father.

The huge operation came a day after South Korean President Park Geun-hye urged police and prosecutors to step up the manhunt for the 72-year-old patriarch of the family behind the Chonghaejin Marine Co.

The company owned and operated the ill-fated 6,825-tonne Sewol passenger ferry.

Seoul has offered $500,000 (370,000 euros) reward for information leading to the arrest of the father and $100,000 (74,000 euros) for Yoo Dae-kyun.

The 72-year-old has no direct stake in Chonghaejin, but his children and close aides control it through a complex web of holding companies.