Attorney Asks to Delay Questioning of President

Anchor: The president has appointed a former ruling party legal counsel before she faces the prosecution's investigation soon. Prosecutor-turned-lawyer Yoo Young-ha has asked the prosecution to delay planned inquiries of the president, which were initially expected as early as Wednesday.

Kim Bum-soo reports.

Report: The presidential office has commissioned attorney Yoo Young-ha to defend President Park Geun-hye before the prosecution launches its investigation against her.

Presidential Spokesman Jung Youn-kuk announced on Tuesday that the prosecutor-turned-lawyer will represent Park in the ongoing probe into the Choi Soon-sil scandal.

Following the appointment, the attorney promptly requested the prosecution to delay its planned inquiry of the president over the influence-peddling scandal.

Yoo told reporters that questioning the president on Wednesday is impossible as he needs more time to review the case and because the president runs on a tight schedule.

[Sound bite: Attorney Yoo Young-ha (Korean)]

"I find it impossible... "

"As the prosecution says the president is a witness to the case and considering the customary practice of the prosecution's investigation, they coordinate schedules before summoning witnesses even for ordinary people. For the president, she has her schedule as the head of state and the administrative branch. Giving notice of the date unilaterally... "

The attorney argued that it would be more desirable for the prosecution to send inquiries to the president instead of holding an in-person session so as to minimize any impact it may have on the president's exercise of her duties.

The attorney also tried to downplay the president's responsibility for the scandal, saying that her client wants to accept the criticism of her failure to properly manage people around her.

[Sound bite: Attorney Yoo Young-ha (Korean)]

"[The president] is heartbroken that this happened after the work for a good cause that also brought positive outcomes."

In 2010, Yoo served as a legal adviser for Park when she was a member of the Supreme Council of the Grand National Party, the predecessor of the now ruling Saenuri Party. He served key positions at prosecutors' offices in Seoul, Incheon and in Changwon, South Gyeongsang Province.

Since 2014, he had been a standing commissioner for the National Human Rights Commission of Korea until he quit the post early this year. He ran for a parliamentary seat in three elections since 2004 but came up unsuccessful.

Kim Bum-soo, KBS World Radio News.

Source: KBS World Radio