Former President Park to be grilled in corruption scandal
SEOUL, March 21 (Yonhap) -- Former President Park Geun-hye is set to be questioned by prosecutors Tuesday over a string of corruption allegations that removed her from office earlier this month.
Park is scheduled to arrive at the Seoul Central District Prosecutors' Office in southern Seoul at around 9:30 a.m. She will undergo a day-long interrogation over allegations of bribery, abuse of power, coercion and leak of government secrets in 13 difference cases.
Her lawyer Son Bum-kyu earlier said Park will deliver a message to the public regarding the scandal. It is yet unclear when and where she will make the remarks.
Park, the country's first democratically elected leader to be ousted, has been named a criminal suspect for allegedly abusing her power and colluding with her longtime friend Choi Soon-sil in extorting money from local conglomerates.
Prosecutors said they will grill Park over allegations the business groups donated huge sums of money to two foundations allegedly controlled by Choi in return for business favors.
Watchers expect the questioning of Park could continue until past midnight.
Lee Jae-yong, the de facto chief of Samsung Group, was arrested and indicted over similar allegations, though he has been flatly denying the charges.
Park has so far effectively rejected undergoing a direct investigation, but the Constitutional Court's decision to oust her earlier this month stripped her of the immunity that had protected her from criminal prosecution.
A number of former aides have been questioned and put on trial over their alleged involvement in the scandal in the meanwhile.
Park will be the country's fourth former president to undergo questioning over criminal allegations, following Roh Tae-woo, Chun Doo-hwan and the late Roh Moo-hyun.
Roh Moo-hyun committed suicide in 2009 amid an investigation into allegations that his family members accepted illicit funds.
Former President Park Geun-hye gets out of a car appearing misty-eyed in front of her private residence in southern Seoul after returning from the presidential office Cheong Wa Dae on March 12, 2017, two days after she was removed from office at her impeachment trial at the Constitutional Court. (Yonhap)