Arrest warrant sought for ex-professor in fake degree scandal

South Korean prosecutors sought an arrest warrant for a college professor accused of faking her Yale doctorate in an escalating scandal that forced a senior presidential aide to quit.

Shin Jeong-ah was charged with forgery and obstruction of business affairs for allegedly fabricating a doctorate degree and other documents from Yale and using them to apply for an art professorship at Seoul's Dongguk University in 2005, prosecution spokesman Kim Kyung-soo said.

She was also named a director of the Gwangju Biennale arts festival in July based on the fake credentials, Kim said.

Yale's public affairs office has said that Shin never attended the university.

Shin, 35, has been fired from the college and stripped of the directorship for the art festival after the scandal erupted in July with media reports that her doctorate degree was fake.

She had since gone to the United States, but returned home over the weekend to face the charges. Prosecutors took her into custody at the airport for questioning.

Prosecutors sought the warrant for Shin with the Seoul Western District Court. It was not clear whether or when the court would grant the request.

But prosecution spokesman Kim said that Shin decided not to attend a hearing that the court is supposed to hold to determine whether to issue the arrest warrant for her - an apparent sign that she does not challenge the charges against her.

The scandal became more sensational after a senior presidential aide quit earlier this month amid suspicions that he was close to Shin and used his influence to pressure a former official with Shin's college to not further pursue Shin's fake degree problem.

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Author`s name Angela Antonova