The chairmen of eight of South Korea's biggest companies take an oath during a parliamentary hearing at the National Assembly in Seoul.
The chairmen of eight of South Korea's biggest companies take an oath during a parliamentary hearing at the National Assembly in Seoul. JEON HEON-KYUN/POOL

Korean tycoons grilled over gifts

EIGHT of South Korea's most powerful business tycoons have been grilled during a televised parliamentary probe over their involvement in the scandal that threatens the career of President Park Geun-Hye.

In a humiliating loss of face for the some of the richest men in the country - including the chairs of Samsung and Hyundai Motor - MPs quizzed them on donations made to non-profit foundations under the control of the President's confidante, Choi Soon-sil, and whether they had received any favours in return.

Ms Choi has been charged with coercion and abuse of power, accused of using her ties to the President to get big business to donate to the foundations and using the money for her personal use.

Protesters angered by the scandal have held a series of huge demonstrations in Seoul in recent weeks, calling for President Park's resignation and action against the country's huge family run companies, or "chaebols”.

During yesterday's questioning, the chaebol bosses denied donating funds to the foundations for the purpose of receiving any favours from the government.



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