"I committed a sin that deserves death"

Choi Soon-Sil, the woman behind South Korea’s political scandal, has said that she deserves death.

Choi has met with prosecutors who are investigating her close ties to President Park Geun-hye and the allegations of her pulling the strings of the government to rake up a personal fortune.

The scandal made headlines last week after the South Korean president acknowledged that Choi had edited some of her speeches and provided public relations support. Choi has since been accused of having a major role in the government, despite having no official ties to the administration.

Investigators are now looking into whether Choi handled sensitive presidential documents and have since raided a number of officials’ homes in the presidential Blue House.

Choi became close to President Park after her cult leader father attached himself to Park, who reportedly claimed he could communicate with her assassinated mother.

Choi allegedly used her connection with Park to pressure businesses to give money to non-profit organisations that were run by Choi herself – Mir and K-Sports foundations. These funds were also allegedly used for personal purposes.

The two foundations collected 80 billion won in donations in a few months.

President Park has since fired a number of her top aides but the public and politicians are calling for her resignation. Many South Koreans believe that Ms Choi had a bigger influence on Park than has been suggested.

Lee Kyung-jae, Park’s attorney said she “apologises deeply for causing the people humiliation and despair”.

Choi reportedly said, “Please, forgive me. I’m sorry”, telling local media, “I committed a sin that deserves death.”