South Korea prosecutors seek South Korea’s ousted president Park Geun-hye’s arrest

March 27, 2017 4:30 pm

’s ousted president (C) arrives at a prosecutor’s office in Seoul, March 21, 2017. (Photo by AFP)

South Korean prosecutors are seeking an arrest warrant for ousted president Park Geun-hye, who has become vulnerable to prosecution and potential incarceration following the loss of her political immunity.
The Seoul Central District Court said on Monday that an arrest warrant hearing for Park had been scheduled for Thursday at 1030 am local time (0130 GMT).
The court would decide whether to arrest Park and hold her in custody for up to 20 days while she is investigated or not. The decision is likely to come late Thursday or early Friday.
The 65-year-old former president, who was removed from power over a corruption scandal earlier this month, now faces charges that include bribery, leaking government information, and abuse of executive power.
“The accused abused her enormous power and status as president to receive bribes from companies or to infringe upon the rights to freedom of corporate management and leaked important confidential information on state affairs,” prosecutors said in a statement on Monday.
The statement came almost a week after Park was brought in by judiciary officials for questioning in connection with the corruption scandal that culminated in her impeachment and removal from power.

Prosecutors also said in the Monday statement that, “A large amount of evidence has been collected so far but the accused is denying most of the charges, and there is a risk of destroying evidence in the future.”

Park’s confidante and alleged accomplice Choi Soon-sil is already on trial, and prosecutors said it would be “counter to the principle of fairness” if Park were not arrested. Park could face more than 10 years in jail if convicted of receiving bribes.
Park faced massive outcry as the scandal involving Choi gained momentum late last year and early this year. Huge rallies were held against her, and a parliamentary vote to impeach her was ultimately upheld by the country’s Constitutional Court, permanently forcing her out of office.
Despite her denial of any wrongdoing, Park has apologized to the nation several times in the past months.
Prosecutors have long been seeking her arrest over the scandal but had faced legal obstacles back when she enjoyed immunity under the constitution as sitting president.

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