S Korea Prosecutors Seek Detention Warrant for Ousted Prez Park

The scandal comes at a time when rival North Korea is pushing ahead with its missile programme.

Published
World
1 min read
Ousted South Korean President Park Geun-hye. (Photo: AP) 

South Korean prosecutors said on Monday they will seek a detention warrant for ousted President Park Geun-hye, who has been accused of taking bribes from big businesses.

Park, 65, became South Korea's first democratically elected president to be removed from office when a constitutional court upheld her parliamentary impeachment this month. Park denies any wrong doing.

In December 2016, the South Korean parliament had voted to impeach the then-president and in March 2017, she was removed from office.

The scandal has preoccupied the country for months, at a time when rival North Korea is pushing ahead with its missile programme and tension is brewing with China over a US missile-defence system being deployed in South Korea.

Park has been accused of colluding with a friend, Choi Soon-sil, and a former presidential aide, both of whom have been on trial, to pressure big businesses to donate to two foundations set up to back her policy initiatives.

She is also accused of soliciting bribes from the head of the Samsung Group for government favours, including the backing of a merger of two Samsung affiliates in 2015, that was seen to support the succession of control over the country's largest "chaebol" conglomerate.

Park has denied wrongdoing and has not been charged in the case. Choi has also denied wrongdoing.

However, Park lost her presidential immunity when she was dismissed and could face more than 10 years in jail if convicted of receiving bribes from bosses of big conglomerates, including Samsung Group chief Jay Y Lee, in return for favours.

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