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Park Geun-hye Scandal: South Korean Prosecutors Seek Arrest Warrant

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Prosecutors asked for an arrest warrant for South Korea’s former president Park Geun-hye, for her role in a corruption scandal.

Earlier this month, Park Geun-hye lost her presidential immunity and was dismissed from her post when the constitutional court upheld a decision by parliament to impeach her.

She is accused of allowing her close friend Choi Soon-sil to allegedly extort money from big companies.

Park Geun-hye, 65, has denied the allegations.

She apologized to the public last week, before being questioned by authorities for 14 hours.

On March 27, South Korean prosecutors said in statement: “The case is very grave as the suspect has demonstrated acts of abuse of power by making companies give money and infringing on the freedom of corporate management by using powerful position and authority as president.”

They argue that evidence like computer hard drives might be destroyed if Park Geun-hye is not arrested.

Image source Wikimedia

Choi Soon-sil has been charged with bribery and corruption and is already on trial.

She is accused of using her presidential connections to pressure companies to give millions of dollars in donations to non-profit foundations she controlled.

Lee Jae-yong, the acting head of electronics conglomerate Samsung, was arrested for his role in the scandal.

Park Geun-hye is alleged to have been personally involved in this, and to have given Choi Soon-sil unacceptable levels of access to official documents.


Parliament voted to impeach Park Geun-hye in December 2016.

On March 10, the constitutional court ruled that Park Geun-hye’s actions “seriously impaired the spirit of… democracy and the rule of law”.

Judges said the president had broken the law by allowing Choi Soon-sil to meddle in state affairs, and had breached guidelines on official secrets by leaking numerous documents.

Park Geun-hye had “concealed completely Choi’s meddling in state affairs and denied it whenever suspicions over the act emerged and even criticized those who raised the suspicions,” the ruling said.

The Seoul Central District Court will now determine whether there are grounds to issue the arrest warrant for Park Geun-hye.

If it is issued, prosecutors will have up to 20 days to continue investigations and file charges against her, Reuters reports.

As president Park Geun-hye had enjoyed immunity and repeatedly refused to take part in questioning.

Now Park Geun-hye could face several charges, including abuse of power, coercion, bribery and leaking government secrets.

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