Impeached South Korean president Park Geun-hye arrested

Friday, March 31, 2017

Former South Korean Leader Park Geun-hye was arrested today over corruption allegations.

File photo of Park Geun-hye, 2013.
Image: Korean Culture and Information Service (Cheong Wa Dae).

A court in Seoul issued an arrest warrant for the former president, after a hearing yesterday to determine whether she should be arrested. Park was accused of abusing her power, bribery, and illegally colluding with long-time friend Choi Soon-sil.

Park Geun-hye was accused of working with Choi Soon-sil to use foundations to accept donations from major South Korean companies. The foundations then backed the former president's policy initiatives. Park was also accused of accepting bribes for political favours from conglomerates, such as from Samsung Group's chief Jay Y. Lee.

In the hearing Park argued against her arrest that she posed no flight risk and swore she would not tamper with evidence. After her eight hour's worth of testimony, a judge at the Seoul District Court said there was sufficient evidence to arrest the former leader and said evidence could be destroyed if they did not.

Both Park and Choi deny they did anything wrong.

Park has been put in a detention facility located just outside Seoul to await further legal proceedings. Officials for the facility have said Park will be expected to adhere to the existing rules in place at the centre.

Elections to appoint a new president are scheduled to be held on May 9.