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Former South Korean President Park Indicted on Bribery Charges

  • VOA News

Ousted South Korean President Park Geun-hye arrives at the Seoul Central District Court for a hearing on a prosecutors' request for her arrest for corruption, in Seoul, South Korea, March 30, 2017.

South Korean prosecutors have formally indicted ousted President Park Geun-hye on bribery charges in a high-profile corruption scandal.

The prosecutors' office made the indictment Monday, sending her case to a criminal court.

Park, the country's first democratically elected president to be ousted from office, was arrested and detained last month after a South Korean court approved a prosecutor's arrest warrant on charges of bribery, extortion and abuse of power.

The criminal charges against Park are linked to the political scandal that forced her from office, allegedly colluding with her long time friend Choi Soon-sil to extort Korean conglomerates to donate more than $69 million to two dubious foundations

For months, Park's impeachment drama sharply divided the South Korean public with her opponents holding massive rallies to demand her impeachment or resignation, and with supporters staging demonstrations to try to keep her in office. Two Park supporters where killed in clashes with police outside the court on the day her impeachment ruling was announced.

Park could face more than 10 years in jail if convicted of receiving bribes from bosses of big conglomerates, including Samsung Group chief Jay Y. Lee, in return for favors. Lee, who denies charges that he provided bribes in return for favors for Samsung, and Choi are both in detention and on trial separately.

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