Daughter of Key Figure in South Korea Scandal Returns Home

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SEOUL, South Korea — One of the most notorious figures in the corruption scandal in South Korea that led to the impeachment and ouster of former President Park Geun-hye was extradited home from Denmark on Wednesday.

Chung Yoo-ra became a lightning rod for anger over social injustice after revelations that her mother, Choi Soon-sil, used her influence with Ms. Park to promote Ms. Chung’s career and support her luxurious lifestyle.

Ms. Chung had been in a detention center in Denmark since January, fighting South Korean prosecutors’ efforts to bring her home to face questioning and possible criminal charges.

This week, she gave up that fight and agreed to be extradited.

“I have no idea what went on between my mother and the former president,” she told reporters at Incheon International Airport before prosecutors whisked her away. “I guess I am wrongfully accused.”

Her mother, Ms. Choi, is on trial on charges of conspiring with Ms. Park to collect tens of millions of dollars in bribes and extortions from big businesses.

Ms. Park’s trial on the same charges began this month.

Ms. Chung, 21, has been elusive. South Korean journalists had looked for her across Europe, where she was believed to be training as an equestrian, and South Korea had also asked Interpol to help. In January, the Danish police found her in the northern city of Aalborg.

Prosecutors say that the bribes that Ms. Choi and Ms. Park are accused of collecting included $6.2 million from Samsung, South Korea’s largest conglomerate, donated to support the equestrian career of Ms. Chung. She once trained in Germany using a thoroughbred acquired for $830,000.

On Wednesday, Ms. Chung said she did not know whether the money came from bribes, adding that she was just one of six equestrians supported by Samsung.

But she apologized for a Facebook post in 2014 in which she belittled friends less well off than she was.

“You’ve got nothing but your parents to blame for your lack of resources,” Ms. Chung wrote.

The post was shared widely in South Korea, where widening economic inequality has fueled increasing public anger. It helped her become a symbol of the children of the well connected, who are often accused of using their parents’ influence to act above the law.

Ms. Choi was accused of illegally enrolling her daughter in Ewha Womans University in Seoul in 2015, using her connections with Ms. Park to force the elite school to accept Ms. Chung despite her poor qualifications. An inquiry by the Education Ministry revealed that Ms. Chung had been admitted at the expense of candidates with better credentials.

Ms. Chung’s family also used its influence to persuade Ewha to give her good grades even though she barely attended classes, officials at the ministry said.

The accusations of illegal enrollment have been particularly inflammatory in South Korea, where students cram for years to prepare for intensely competitive college entrance exams.

Ewha students were the first to take to the streets to protest the reported influence-peddling, helping kick off months of huge demonstrations that eventually compelled the National Assembly to impeach Ms. Park in December.

Ewha revoked Ms. Chung’s enrollment after the scandal broke.

On Wednesday, Ms. Chung sounded almost nonchalant.

“It was a natural decision because I never attended any classes,” she said. “I didn’t even know what my major was.”