South Korea's Blue House Blocks Prosecutors' Search

South Korea's Blue House Blocks Prosecutors' Search

The Blue House did not explain why a search would undermine the national interest, prosecution spokesman Lee Kyu-chul said. The prosecutors were told that Blue Houses' military status restricted their entry to areas with state secrets.

"According to criminal law, we arrived at the conclusion we can not force our search if the subject refuses", a spokesman for the special prosecutor, Lee Kyu-chul, told a media briefing.

The search and seizure was conducted to get necessary materials for the probe into allegations over bribery involving Samsung Group, South Korea's largest family-run conglomerate, and the official development assistance (ODA) projects involving Park's longtime confidante Choi Soon-sil. But Blue House officials didn't let them in, saying they were able to hand over documents to prosecutors, but not give them entrance.

The special prosecution team is now considering raising the issue with Prime Minister Hwang Kyo-ahn, who has also been acting president since Park's presidential powers were suspended because of an impeachment vote at the parliament last December.

Park is also accused of allowing Choi to exert inappropriate influence over state affairs.

Both Park and Choi deny wrongdoing.

Former Mint Employee Who Smuggled Gold in His Rectum Sentenced to Prison
Lawrence's scheme was discovered in early 2015 when an alert teller noticed he was a mint employee while making a large deposit. Lawrence set off the metal detector more often than any other mint employee without metal implants, Doody said in his ruling.

As Snapchat Readies IPO, Details of Business Emerge
Los Angeles-based Snap also said it will spend $2bn over the next five years working with Google Cloud. Right now Facebook has the highest user base, almost nearing the 2 billion mark for monthly users.

'We can't ignore the people': Parliament backs Brexit bill in landslide vote
Prime Minister Theresa May plans to initiate Article 50's two-year process by the end of March. Corbyn has struggled to convince many of his MPs to obey his orders to back the Bill.

Television stations showed the prosecutors waiting inside cars in a parking lot within the Blue House compound.

Lee, the spokesman for the special prosecutor's team, said investigators would question the president in person, regardless of the outcome of their effort to search her office.

The independent counsel team said that some offices of the Financial Services Commission (FSC) in Seoul and those of the Fair Trade Commission (FTC) in Sejong were raided early morning, Xinhua news agency reported.

A spokeswoman for FSC said that the raid was linked to prosecutors' suspicion that the Samsung Group had provided bribes to Park and Choi for favours regarding its businesses.

South Korea's constitutional court has until June to decide whether to endorse Park's impeachment.