S.Korea police, residents block leaflet launch into North

Yoo’s daughter could appeal to EU

Police raid ferry owner’s religious retreat for two days in a row

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Published : 2014-06-12 20:49
Updated : 2014-06-12 21:28

The eldest daughter of fugitive Yoo Byung-eun, owner of the ill-fated ferry Sewol, is expected to appeal to the highest court in France as a Paris-based appellate court recently turned down her application for bail, pundits predicted on Thursday.

A prosecutor-turned-lawyer predicted on a TV program that Yoo’s daughter Seom-na will continue to lodge appeals over issues involving her rejected bail and Korean investigators’ efforts to garner French judges’ approval for her repatriation. 
Police continue to raid Geumsuwon, a compound of the Salvation Sect in Anseong, Gyeonggi Province, led by fugitive Yoo Byung-eun, for the second consecutive day on Thursday. (Yonhap)

“She is projected to bring the case to the French Supreme Court, or even to judicial authorities of the European Union,” said the lawyer. “It may take up to one year to determine whether the country or the EU would hand her over to Korea.”

Yoo’s daughter has been suspected of being paid illegal funds from an affiliate of Chonghaejin Marine Co., the operator of the sunken Sewol, when she was the chief of a design firm. The Korean police have filed an Interpol red notice against two of the irregularity-ridden business tycoon’s four children.

The 47-year-old woman was arrested by French investigators near the Champs-Elysees in Paris in late May.

Meanwhile, some 3,500 investigators raided a retreat for two days in a row Thursday as part of their intensive search for the fugitive and his confidants.

A team, armed with court-issued warrants, resumed their search of the sprawling religious compound, dubbed Geumsuwon, which belongs to the Salvation Sect in Anseong, just south of Seoul. The team also raided underground bunkers and Yoo’s workrooms at the retreat.

Yoo’s oldest son Dae-kyun has already been on a nationwide wanted list with a reward offered and two other Yoo children ― Seom-na and Hyuk-gi ― are also targets for investigators.

Further, the prosecution is poised to summon the wife of Yoo Byung-eun in a bid to put more psychological pressure on the runaway.

Prosecutors have bought up their plan to summon Yoo’s wife Kwon Yoon-ja after the Incheon District Court issued an arrest warrant for Yoo’s brother in-law, Kwon Oh-kyun.

The wife’s younger brother Kwon became the first figure among Yoo’s family, relatives and in-laws to be taken into custody. He is suspected of embezzling company funds from a unit of Chonghaejin Marine.

By Kim Yon-se (kys@heraldcorp.com)

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