S.Korean prosecutors to summon ousted president Park over corruption scandal

S.Korean prosecutors to summon ousted president Park over corruption scandal

South Korean prosecutors will summon former president Park Geun-Hye, whose impeachment was confirmed by the country's highest court last week, for questioning as a criminal suspect, a spokesman said today.

Ms Park's friend and secret confidante Choi Soon Sil is standing trial for using her ties to the former leader to force local firms to "donate" almost US$70 million (S$99 million) to non-profit foundations Choi allegedly used for personal gain. "We will let you know once we are prepared", the unnamed source said, according to Yonhap News Agency.

Ms Park and Mrs Choi both denied wrongdoing and while she was president, Ms Park declined to answer prosecutors' questions. "Seven school officials, including its former president and several professors, were indicted on criminal charges, and Chung's admission to the university was cancelled", the Washington Post said.

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Independent Counsel Park Young-soo concluded at the end of his investigation that Samsung's de facto leader Lee Jae-yong paid or promised some 43 billion won (US$37.4 million) to Choi, and in effect to Park, in exchange for business favors.

Supporters of South Korea's ousted leader Park Geun-hye gather outside her private home in Seoul on March 14, 2017. Since then, state prosecutors had reviewed the case.

The team plans to look into whether other local conglomerates, including SK, Lotte and CJ, also bribed Park.

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An election to pick Park's successor will be held by May.

The probe will proceed without consideration of the election, the official with the team said.

When Ms Park took office in February 2013, she moved into the Blue House with two puppies named Saerom and Heemang - "New" and "Hope" respectively in Korean - given to her by her former neighbours.

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