Ex-South Korean leader Park indicted, faces trial

by Abel Hampton April 18, 2017, 1:09

Park was removed from office and arrested in March after the South Korean parliament chose to impeach her for the scandals.

The prosecution charged him with abetting or condoning Choi's meddling in state affairs, disrupting a probe into Choi's manipulation of power and exerting undue influence over personnel appointments under the Park administration.

Park is accused by prosecutors of helping Choi Soon-sil, a longtime friend, extort donations from South Korea's biggest conglomerates in exchange for political favors. The move provoked violent clashes between the pro-Park protesters and police, which left three people dead. She has also been charged with abuse of power and coercion by pressuring big businesses to contribute funds to non-profit foundations, the prosecutors said.

Park reportedly denied all the charges during her five rounds of questioning in jail.

Ko, who made some clothing items and bags for Park, revealed the controversial relationship between Park and Choi a year ago, claiming that Choi received and edited the ex-president's speeches in advance.

She will have to face judges in prison garb and bound with rope, and the bribery charge could mean life imprisonment.

Lotte tycoon Shin, who is already on trial for embezzlement and breach of trust in a separate case, faces bribery charges.

Prosecutors on Monday also charged Shin Dong-Bin, the chairman of the retail giant Lotte Group, with bribing Choi and Park.

2012: Park becomes the country's first female president in a landslide victory over liberal opponent Moon Jae-jin.

Ms Park was removed from office last month.

Park is accused of colluding with Choi and offering policy favours to top businessmen who enriched her friend.

Park is the daughter of late dictator Park Chung-hee, one of the most divisive figures in South Korean history.

Still, the AP reports it's unclear whether that trial will kick off prior to the May 9 special election that will decide South Korea's next president. Some recall him as an abuser of human rights on an enormous scale while others credit him with spearheading a rapid economic rise in the 1960-70s.

Park Geun-hye once described Choi, 60, as someone who helped her when she had difficulties in the past, an apparent reference to her parents' deaths.


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