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Choi Soon-sil returned to Seoul

Choi Soon-sil, the woman at center of the political scandal involving President Park Geun-hye, returned to Seoul from Britain early this morning, news reports said.

"Choi Soon-sil voluntarily returned to South Korea at 7:30 a.m.
through a British airline from Heathrow Airport in Britain," a senior prosecutor said. 

She plans to hold a news conference later in the day to disclose her position on the snowballing influence and corruption scandal, according to the reports.

Choi Soon-sil (Courtesy JTBC)
Choi Soon-sil (Courtesy JTBC)

The woman, who holds no governmental post, is suspected of meddling in state affairs by using her decades of friendship with the president.

The return came a day after prosecutors raided homes of presidential aides suspected of being involved in the scandal, as the investigators accelerated their probe into the case.

On Tuesday, the president apologized in a nationally televised address over allegations raised against her and the confidante, admitting to the leak of dozens of presidential speeches to Choi before they were made public.