South Korean prosecutors on Tuesday grilled former President Park Geun-hye, who in custody over corruption allegations.
Park has been held in detention at a detention center outside Seoul since March 31 when a Seoul court issued an arrest warrant for the former leader. She was removed from office in a ruling on March 10 by the constitutional court to uphold the impeachment bill. The special investigation headquarters of the Seoul Central District Prosecutors’ Office, tasked with the probe into the corruption scandal embroiling Park, said via text message that the grilling of Park kicked off at about 10 a.m.. Prosecutors visited the detention center, not summoning Park, for guard reasons. Park was summoned on March 21 for questioning over multiple charges including bribery, abuse of power and coercion.
Park is accused of conspiring with her longtime confidante Choi Soon-sil, who is also in custody and on trial, to receive tens of millions of U.S. dollars in bribes from Samsung Electronics Vice Chairman Lee Jae-yong, the heir apparent of the country’s biggest family-controlled conglomerate. The bribes were given in exchange for providing assistance in Lee’s inheritance of Samsung’s management control from his ailing father Chairman Lee Kun-hee who has been hospitalized for almost three years. Prosecutors already identified Park and Choi as criminal accomplices. A total of 13 charges were levied at Park. Choi is charged with extorting tens of millions of dollars from scores of business conglomerates to establish two nonprofit foundations she used for personal gains.One of Park’s former secretaries was accused of leaking confidential government documents to Choi on a regular basis to let Choi meddle in state affairs behind the scenes.