The independent counsel investigating the presidential corruption scandal has asked Denmark to expedite the deportation of Chung Yoo-ra, the daughter of President Park Geun-hye's longtime crony Choi Soon-sil.
Chung was arrested in the Danish town of Aalborg on Sunday and is wanted here as a key witness in the scandal.
Danish police have asked a court there to extend the arrest warrant for Chung Yoo-ra until the extradition process begins. Chung appeared in a Danish court on Monday which decided to extend her detention until Jan. 30. Chung's lawyer said he would appeal the decision.
Independent counsel Park Young-soo has also asked Interpol to put Chung on the wanted list after she refused to respond to repeated summons, but that has not happened yet. Once it does, she could be extradited immediately.
Chung is herself a suspect in the scandal since she is believed to have been a major beneficiary of her mother's extortion racket and has billions worth of assets in Germany, where Samsung bought her a pure-bred horse and stables. She is also accused of receiving special favors from Ewha Womans University thanks to her mother's relationship to the president.
The independent counsel was seeking to invalidate her passport in late December and procedures take about a month, so it is expected to happen by Jan. 20.
Chung, who was arrested in the company of a two-year-old boy that now turns out to be her son, a nanny in her 60s, and two young men, was quoted as saying Monday that she would voluntarily return to Korea if she is allowed to stay with her child.
If Chung's lawyers decide to contest her extradition, it could take years before she returns to Korea.
That problem arose in the case of Yoo Sum-na, the daughter of ferry owner and crackpot cult leader Yoo Byung-eon, whose reckless practices are blamed for the 2014 ferry disaster that killed hundreds. Yoo bolted to France and has been fighting extradition there for two years with no end in sight.
A police officer arrests Chung Yoo-ra in Aalborg, Denmark on Sunday. /JTBC