Danish lawyer for Choi Soon-sil's daughter dead mysteriously
Posted : 2017-03-20 12:57
Updated : 2017-03-21 11:32
Peter Martin Blinkenberg / Yonhap
By Ko Dong-hwan, Choi Ha-young
Chung Yoo-ra at a Danish court after being arrested at Aalborg, Denmark, on Jan. 3.
A Danish lawyer defending a Korean woman wanted by Korean prosecutors over the presidential corruption scandal died suddenly on Friday of unknown causes.
Chung Yoo-ra's lawyer Peter Martin Blinkenberg died on Mar. 17 at his home in Lohals, Langeland, Ekstra Bladet reported.
Blinkenberg, who specializes in financial cases, was trying to keep Chung in Denmark after prosecutors there decided to extradite her to Korea.
The daughter of Choi Soon-sil, an alleged influence-peddler behind impeached Korean President Park Geun-hye, is wanted on charges of receiving kickbacks while attending Ewha Womans University.
These included manipulation of marks and attendance records.
The perks are suspected of having been carried out at Korea's most prestigious women's university under the influence of Choi, who is under arrest.
Christian Blinkenberg, the dead lawyer's brother, told Danish news outlet Borsen that the "unexpected death" came when the father of two teenagers was spending his last day "within the walls of his beloved cottage" in his hometown.
"His biggest regret was that he worked too much, while the children were young," Blinkenberg said.
"He told me (that) many times ― especially after my son Nicholas was born."
The late lawyer is known for having many clients acquitted.
He was also a former chief prosecutor at the Public Prosecutor for Serious Economic Crime (Fraud Squad).
Blinkenberg was preparing to file an official complaint with a Danish court over the decision to extradite Chung, who was arrested on Jan. 3, and has been at an Aalborg detention center since.
The lawyer's death has aroused suspicion of an assassination to prevent Chung staying in Denmark.
"I can't see how losing her lawyer would change much for Chung. She would get a new one who would also try to revoke the decision to extradite her," Markus Bernsen, a correspondent for Weekendavisen, a weekly newspaper, told The Korea Times.
Monday is the last day Chung can appeal, according to Bernsen.