Former aide to South Korean president, ex-minister indicted

SEOUL: South Korea’s special prosecutor has indicted a former culture minister and a former top aide to President Park Geun-hye on charges of abuse of power, coercion and perjury for their role in drafting a blacklist of dissenting artists, a spokesman said.
The indictments are the latest twist in a corruption scandal that has gripped the country for months and led to the impeachment of Park by parliament in December. A Constitutional Court is reviewing the impeachment vote. If it is upheld, Park will have to leave office and a presidential election will be called.
Lee Kyu-chul, spokesman for the special prosecutor’s office investigating the scandal, told a briefing on Tuesday former culture minister Cho Yoon-sun, and a former presidential chief of staff, Kim Ki-choon, had been indicted.
“The special prosecutor’s office has indicted Kim Ki-choon, Cho Yoon-sun … for abusing power and coercion by making artists and entertainers and organisations with different opinions from the government excluded from support,” Lee said.
Both Cho, who last month became the first sitting member of Park’s administration to be arrested in connection with the scandal, and Kim denied the existence of a blacklist, or playing a role in drawing one up, though Cho later said she had heard of such a list. The presidential Blue House has also denied that a blacklist existed. — Reuters