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South Korean prosecutors summon Park for questioning

Wednesday, March 15, 2017 - 09:47

Park Geun-Hye 3.jpg
South Korean prosecutors on Wednesday ordered ousted president Park Geun-Hye to appear before them for questioning in connection with the corruption scandal that brought her down, they said.

[SEOUL] South Korean prosecutors on Wednesday ordered ousted president Park Geun-Hye to appear before them for questioning in connection with the corruption scandal that brought her down, they said.

Ms Park, who was dismissed by the Constitutional Court last week, was required to attend a prosecutors' office in Seoul next Tuesday, a spokesman said.

"We have sent the order... to Park's lawyer this morning. The summons date is 9:30am on March 21," he said in a statement.

Ms Park, a criminal suspect in the scandal, had repeatedly refused to make herself available for questioning by the prosecutors before the country's highest court confirmed her impeachment.

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Friday's final ruling stripped her of power and executive privileges, including protection from criminal indictment, and she left the presidential palace at the weekend.

Ms Park's lawyer said she would "cooperate" with the probe.

The corruption and influence-peddling scandal is centred on Ms Park's close confidante Choi Soon-Sil, who is standing trial for abuse of power and coercion.

Choi is accused of using her presidential ties to force local firms including Samsung to "donate" nearly US$70 million to non-profit foundations she allegedly used for personal gain.

Ms Park - the 65-year-old daughter of the late former strongman Park Chung-Hee - has been named as Choi's accomplice who helped her extract money from the firms.

The scandal that rocked the nation has also seen the heir to electronics giant Samsung, Lee Jae-Yong, arrested and charged with bribery.

AFP

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