03/27/2017, 16.57
SOUTH KOREA
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Prosecutors ask Seoul court to arrest former President Park Geun-hye

If the Seoul District Court agrees with the request and issues the arrest warrant, Park will be the first former South Korean president to be arrested since 1995. The charges against her include abuse of office, bribery and leaking government documents.

Seoul (AsiaNews) – Prosecutors announced plans to seek an arrest warrant for former President Park Geun-hye of South Korea on criminal charges including abuse of power, bribery and leaking government documents.

The prosecutors today formally asked the Seoul District Court for the warrant. It usually takes several days before the court studies evidence and decides whether an arrest warrant is justified. Prosecutors fear that the former president might tamper or destroy evidence against her.

Park is accused of conspiring with her long-time confidante, Choi Soon-sil, to collect tens of millions of dollars from big businesses, including more than US$ 38 million in bribes from Samsung.

Choi and Samsung’s top executive Lee Jae-yong have been arrested and indicted on a number of charges, including bribery.

If the court agrees with the prosecution and issues the arrest warrant, Park Geun-hye will be the first former South Korean president to be arrested since 1995, when military dictators Chun Doo-hwan and Roh Tae-woo were arrested and later convicted on sedition and mutiny charges.

On 9 December, the South Korean National Assembly impeached and removed Park by an overwhelming majority. She left office the next day.

Currently, South Korean political parties are involved in primaries to choose candidates for the upcoming presidential election scheduled for 9 May.

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