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Ex-finance minister charged with pressuring firm to hire ex-intern

2017/03/20 18:11

ANYANG, South Korea, March 20 (Yonhap) -- A former finance minister was indicted without detention Monday for pressuring a public corporation to hire one of his former interns.

Choi Kyoung-hwan, a four-term lawmaker of the Liberty Korea Party, is accused of exerting his influence on the chief of the Small & Medium Business Corporation (SBC) to accept the intern surnamed Hwang despite the person's poor performance in the 2013 recruitment process.

Prosecutors at the Anyang branch of the Suwon District Prosecutors Office said they have charged him with abuse of power, obstruction of exercise of rights and extortion.

Choi was a key ally of ousted President Park Geun-hye and served as her finance minister from 2014 to 2015.

He was initially cleared of wrongdoing on lack of evidence.

But prosecutors reopened an investigation after the then SBC chief, who is standing trial in connection with the case, reversed his initial testimony to accuse Choi of pressuring him.

Rep. Choi Kyoung-hwan answers reporters' questions as he leaves the prosecutors' office in Anyang, south of Seoul, on March 4, 2017. (Yonhap) Rep. Choi Kyoung-hwan answers reporters' questions as he leaves the prosecutors' office in Anyang, south of Seoul, on March 4, 2017. (Yonhap)

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