Daughter of tycoon linked to South Korean ferry disaster to fight extradition from France

PARIS (AFP) - The daughter of a fugitive South Korean tycoon accused of being responsible for an April ferry disaster will on Wednesday fight moves to extradite her from France, her lawyer said.

Ms Yoo Som Na, 47, was arrested late last month in Paris and detained under an international arrest warrant. She faces court hearings for an extradition procedure that could take several months.

"We will fight her extradition right to the end and through all means possible and imaginable," her lawyer said on the sidelines of a court hearing in Paris on Wednesday during which her request to be temporarily set free was rejected.

Ms Yoo's father Yoo Byung Eun and his eldest son Yoo Dae Kyun are being hunted by the South Korean authorities, who suspect breaches of safety standards may have led to the April 16 tragedy in which 300 people, mostly schoolchildren, lost their lives.

South Korean prosecutors also wish to speak to another son who lives in the United States on related charges.

Ms Yoo's court appearance came as some 6,000 Korean police forced their way into the compound of a religious group in Anseong, south of Seoul, to look for her father.

The huge operation came a day after South Korean President Park Geun Hye urged the police and prosecutors to step up the manhunt for the 72-year-old patriarch of the family behind the Chonghaejin Marine Co.

The company owned and operated the ill-fated 6,825-tonne Sewol passenger ferry.

Seoul has offered 370,000 euros (S$626,400) as a reward for information leading to the arrest of the father and 74,000 euros for Yoo Dae Kyun.

The 72-year-old has no direct stake in Chonghaejin, but his children and close aides control it through a complex web of holding companies.

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