Opposition lawmakers investigating the president's corruption allegations said Tuesday they are considering questioning a key confidante who was taken into custody last month by visiting her cell, as she has refused to respond to the probe.
Choi Soon-sil allegedly exerted influence on state affairs without any seat in the administration, seeking personal benefits.
Prosecutors earlier claimed President Park Geun-hye is an accomplice.
The parliament kicked off a special investigation into the scandal, summoning big names including Samsung Group heir-apparent Lee Jae-yong and former top presidential aide Kim Ki-choon, on Nov.
30. Other Choi aides also appeared before the National Assembly, delivering testimony related to the confidante's various law-breaking activities.
Choi, however, declined to respond to the parliament's order, adding her health was too fragile to appear at the National Assembly last week.
Her absence led to criticism that the parliamentary investigation may end in vain without questioning the key figure of the scandal which has virtually paralyzed the state affairs for weeks.
Opposition lawmakers on the special committee, accordingly, said they will consider visiting Choi's cell to conduct the questioning.
"We are demanding that we hold the questioning at Choi's cell,"Rep. Park Beom-kye of the main opposition Democratic Party said.
"But we have not yet reached an agreement with the ruling party." (Yonhap)