Former president Park Geun-hye is set to become the third ex-Korean president to face arrest on criminal charges after prosecutors on Monday filed for a court warrant for pretrial detention citing gravity of the crimes she is accused of and fear of destruction of evidence.
State prosecutors reportedly seeking a maximum prison term of 10 years or more for bribery and 12 other criminal charges made the announcement for an arrest a week after returning Park home following a full-day probe.
Korean presidents notoriously came to a poor ending but Park has set a new record for the disgraceful tradition. She made the first elected president whose legislative impeachment was upheld by the Constitutional Court and to be removed from office before completing her term. She would become the third president to be placed behind the bars after leaving the office following Roh Tae-woo and Chun Doo-hwan but she outnumbers them in the list of criminal charges.
During her questioning on Monday last week- her first as she refused to comply with probes by state and independent prosecutors while in office - Park flatly denied that she colluded with Choi Soon-sil in all the irregularities including the illicit exercise of public power and use of coercion in demanding donations from companies. State prosecutors filed eight charges, and the independent counsel team added another five allegations on Park.
By Lee Hyun-jung
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