SEOUL – South Korean prosecutors investigating a corruption scandal engulfing President Park-Geun Hye quizzed the head of Hyundai, the world’s fifth largest automaker, a report said Sunday.
Chung Mong-Koo, chairman of Hyundai Motor, was questioned sometime between Saturday night and early Sunday along with the bosses of other powerful conglomerates including Hanwha, Yonhap news agency said citing an official at the Seoul prosecutor’s office.
Prosecutors are investigating whether Park pressured the firms to donate millions of dollars to dubious foundations controlled by her longtime confidant, Choi Soon-Sil.
Lee Jae-Yong, scion of Samsung group, is expected to be questioned Sunday, Yonhap said.
Samsung also faces allegations it had separately offered 2.8 million euros ($3.1 million) to Choi to bankroll her daughter’s equestrian training in Germany.
Park reportedly had a meeting last July with the top businessmen at her office and urged them to donate money to the two cultural foundations that Choi used for personal gain.
The “donations” from the firms amounted to nearly $70 million, including 20 billion won ($17.5 million) from Samsung and 12.8 billion won from Hyundai.
Choi was arrested recently for allegedly using her ties with Park to coerce donations from the firms and meddling in a wide range of state affairs although she holds no official position.
The scandal has sparked nationwide fury and massive protests calling for Park to resign.
In the latest protest, as many as one million people convened in central Seoul Saturday, calling for Park’s resignation and stern punishment for Choi.