Court to freeze Park's assets

A Seoul court decided on Friday to freeze around 6 billion won (US$5.62 million) in assets held by former President Park Geun-hye in case of a conviction of bribery involving the state spy agency.

The Seoul Central District Court accepted the prosecutors' request for the temporary asset seizure against her new 2.8 billion-won residence in southern Seoul and 3 billion won worth of checks.

Park will be forbidden from making transactions with her bank savings or property, including sales, transfers or putting property up for lease, until a court delivers a ruling on her bribery charges.

Earlier in the day, the court mistakenly uploaded a statement to its website that said it had issued an order, saying that it was an input mistake regarding the date.

Last week, Park was indicted for additional bribery and loss of state funds charges for accepting 3.65 billion won from the National Intelligence Service (NIS) between May 2013 and July 2016. She is already on trial for 18 different charges in connection with a corruption scandal that removed her from office in March last year.

Public records show that Park sold off her old residence for 6.75 billion won and purchased the new house for 2.8 billion won. Aside from the 3 billion won in checks, she holds another 1 billion won in cash, which is not subject to the court order for now, according to the prosecution.

Government data show that Park reported a total of 3.73 billion won in assets as of the end of 2016, but such figures on public servants' asset holdings don't reflect the real value of a property since they only submit their appraised values of any land they hold. Park's old residence is only worth 2.71 billion won by that standard. Source from the Yonhap News Agency.

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