The Korea Herald


Lawmakers propose special bill to confiscate Choi Soon-sil’s assets

By Jung Min-kyung

Published : July 27, 2017 - 16:49

    • Link copied

A group of lawmakers Thursday proposed a bill to confiscate the illegal assets of Choi Soon-sil, the confidante of former President Park Geun-hye who is accused of bribery and meddling in state affairs.
Choi Soon-sil (Yonhap) Choi Soon-sil (Yonhap)

The decision is based on President Moon Jae-in’s recent vow to eradicate irregularities that have accumulated in South Korea over the years.

“The aim of the bill is to remove ‘deep-rooted evils’ in our nation and take back Choi Soon-sil’s assets made off our citizens’ blood and sweat,” said Rep. Ahn Min-seok of the Democratic Party of Korea at a press briefing Thursday.

Ahn is the chief of a special committee put together to pursue anti-corruption legislation for the confiscation of Choi’s property.

The bill intends to launch a special task force that will orchestrate an investigation into assets and properties of those who allegedly abused state power for personal gain, including Choi. It is expected to ease the process of crime reporting, obtaining arrest warrants from court and transferring ownership of illegal property to the government.

A total 131 lawmakers from both major and minor parties cooperated to draft the bill. Of the 131, 102 were from the ruling Democratic Party of Korea, 20 were from the minor opposition People’s Party, five were from the Justice Party, one was from the Liberty Korea Party and three were independent lawmakers.

Ahn expressed his disappointment at the visible lack of support from the splinter conservative Bareun Party, calling for more cooperation in the future.

The committee also said it would “make strong efforts to pass the bill by the end of the year” and look further into the possible existence of other illegal assets at both home and abroad.

The Moon administration pledged to launch a special committee to push for the confiscation of illegitimate proceeds earned by Park and Choi, as part of its five-year policy road map. The impeached president and her longtime friend are currently in detention over a string of charges including bribery, extortion and abuse of power.

By Jung Min-kyung (