Independent Counsel Investigates Phone Recordings of Park's Aide

Independent Counsel Investigates Phone Recordings of Park's Aide

SEOUL, Dec. 8 (Yonhap) -- The independent team appointed to investigate an influence-peddling scandal surrounding President Park Geun-hye has started looking into the phone recordings of a former presidential secretary as they prepare to officially launch the probe next week, its spokesperson said Thursday.

The prosecution has handed over transcripts of phone recordings between former secretary for private presidential affairs Jeong Ho-seong and the president, as well as those between Jeong and Choi Soon-sil, according to Lee Kyu-chul, spokesperson of the independent team. Choi is a close friend of Park who is suspected of meddling in state affairs and abusing her ties to the president for personal gain.

Prosecutors previously found a cell phone belonging to Jeong during their raid on his home in October, which turned out to contain the recordings.

Independent counsel Park Young-soo is accelerating the process of preparing to officially launch his investigation, which will last for 70 days. He has an additional 20 days for preparation, and the probe can be extended for another month.

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