South Korean prosecutors independently investigating the scandal involving impeached President Park Geun-hye on Thursday complained about the presidential side’s unilateral delay of the face-to-face interrogation, which Park had vowed to accept.
The independent counsel team has demanded grilling the impeached president face to face as late as this week when considering that its investigation is scheduled to end by the end of this month according to a special law.
President Park had promised to be interrogated by the special prosecutors, but the presidential office Cheong Wa Dae refused to accept it on Thursday, the originally agreed-upon date, for what it claimed was the leakage of the interrogation date to a local broadcaster.
Local media speculated that President Park’s side may be looking for reasons to deliberately shun the face-to-face interview. Park denied such interrogation by state prosecutors, who had probed the case before the independent counsel and identified Park as a criminal suspect.
Lee Kyu-chul, spokesman of the special prosecutors, told a press briefing that there is no reason for any of special prosecutors to leak or disclose the interrogation date as they already agreed with the president side to unveil the result following the questioning.
During the past discussions on the venue and date for the questioning, the special prosecutors accepted most of conditions the president side demanded given that it would be the quizzing of an incumbent president, Lee said.
He said the president side unilaterally notified the independent counsel team of its refusal to be questioned after a local media’s report on the questioning date on Tuesday.
Asked about re-discussion on the date, the spokesman said nothing has been decided yet.
Opposition parties are seeking to revise the special law on the independent counsel as signs are being detected on the president side’s attempt to delay the investigation.
The special prosecutors, which launched their probe on Dec. 21, are supposed to end their investigation into the corruption scandal by the end of this month. If Prime Minister Hwang Kyo-ahn, who is serving as acting president, allows it, the investigation can be extended for up to 30 days, but the possibility for his approval is considered as very low as he is one of the closest aides to the impeached president. Enditem