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South Korea prosecutors to seek arrest of ousted president Park

'A large amount of evidence has been collected so far but the accused is denying most of the charges, and there is a risk of destroying evidence in the future,' the prosecutors said. Photograph: (AFP)

AFP Seoul, South Korea Mar 27, 2017, 03.06 AM (IST)

Prosecutors in South Korea will seek an arrest warrant for ousted president Park Geun-Hye, they said Monday, days after questioning her over the corruption and abuse of power scandal that brought her down.

Park, 65, had her removal from office confirmed by the country's top court earlier this month, ending her executive immunity, and her prosecution has been a key demand of the millions of people who took to the streets to protest against her.

Park is both South Korea's first female leader, and also its first sitting president to be the subject of a criminal probe while in office.

In December, her approval rating reached a record low of four per cent, and when her impeachment was announced South Koreans took to the street to celebrate.

The former president is accused of multiple offences including bribery, leaking government information, and abuse of power in the scandal.

"The accused abused her enormous power and status as president to receive bribes from companies or to infringe upon the rights to freedom of corporate management and leaked important confidential information on state affairs. These are grave issues," the prosecutors said in a statement. 

"A large amount of evidence has been collected so far but the accused is denying most of the charges, and there is a risk of destroying evidence in the future."

READ: Ban Ki-moon Hints At Running For South Korean Presidency

 

Her secret confidante and alleged accomplice Choi Soon-Sil is already on trial, and prosecutors said it would be "counter to the principle of fairness" if Park was not arrested.

The statement did not make explicitly clear whether they had already applied to the Seoul Central District for an arrest warrant.

Watch WION's report on South Korea's impeached president:

South Korea's constitutional court impeaches president Park Geun-Hye. Here's more to this story (WION)

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(WION with inputs from AFP)

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