National Assembly to Conduct its Own Investigation into Korea Inc. Tycoons

National Assembly to Conduct its Own Investigation into Korea Inc. Tycoons

SEOUL, Nov. 21 (Yonhap) -- The ruling and opposition parties agreed Monday to summon the leaders of the nation's eight largest conglomerates, including Samsung Electronics Co. and Hyundai Motor Group, as witnesses for their parliamentary probe into a corruption scandal involving President Park Geun-hye's confidante.

The ruling Saenuri Party, the main opposition Democratic Party and the minor People's Party reached the agreement over the list of witnesses for the probe into the scandal that has rocked the nation over the past several weeks.

The list includes Samsung Electronics Vice Chairman Lee Jae-yong, LG Group Chairman Koo Bon-moo, Hyundai Motor Group Chairman Chung Mong-koo, SK Group Chairman Chey Tae-won and CJ Group Chairman Sohn Kyung-shik.

Apart from the eight business leaders, the parties agreed to question 13 others, including Park's confidante Choi Soon-sil, who has been at the center of the influence-peddling scandal.

The parties failed to agree over whether to call in the president as a witness amid objections from the leadership of the ruling Saenuri Party.

The special committee for the probe will hold a plenary session later in the day to confirm the list.

The committee plans to hold hearings for the business leaders on Dec. 5 and others the following day.

The tycoons are facing questions related to the allegations that the president pressured them into donating large sums of money to two nonprofit foundations during their meetings with her in July last year.

On Sunday, the prosecution booked the president as an accomplice in the criminal case, marking the first time that an incumbent head of state has become a suspect.

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