COURT APPROVES AR­REST OF EX-PRES­I­DENT

National Post (National Edition) - - WORLD -

A South Korean court on Fri­day ap­proved the ar­rest of for­mer pres­i­dent Park Geun-hye over high-pro­file cor­rup­tion al­le­ga­tions that al­ready ended her tu­mul­tuous fouryear rule and prompted an elec­tion to find her suc­ces­sor.

The Seoul Cen­tral Dis­trict Court’s rul­ing means Park will be taken to a de­ten­tion cen­tre soon. Pros­e­cu­tors can de­tain her for up to 20 days be­fore for­mally charg­ing her, mean­ing she will likely be in jail while her case is heard. A dis­trict court nor­mally is­sues a rul­ing within six months of an in­dict­ment.

The court’s de­ci­sion marks yet an­other hu­mil­i­at­ing fall for Park, South Korea’s first female pres­i­dent who was elected in 2012 amid a wave of con­ser­va­tive nos­tal­gia for her late dic­ta­tor fa­ther whose 18-year rule is marked by both rapid eco­nomic rise and enor­mous hu­man rights abuses.

Pros­e­cu­tors ac­cuse Park of col­lud­ing with a con­fi­dante to ex­tort from big busi­nesses, take a bribe from one of the com­pa­nies and other wrong­do­ing. The al­le­ga­tions led mil­lions of South Kore­ans to protest in the streets ev­ery week­end for months be­fore the con­sti­tu­tional Court ruled March 10 to re­move her.

Pros­e­cu­tors have said they want to ar­rest Park be­cause her al­leged crimes are “grave” and be­cause other sus­pects in­volved the scan­dal, in­clud­ing her con­fi­dante Choi Soo-sil, have al­ready been ar­rested.

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