S. Korean court ex­tends Park’s de­ten­tion

China Daily - - WORLD -

SEOUL — A South Korean court on Fri­day de­cided to ex­tend the de­ten­tion of im­peached pres­i­dent Park Geun-hye who has been in cus­tody and stood trial over cor­rup­tion charges in­clud­ing bribery.

The Seoul Cen­tral Dis­trict Court is­sued another ar­rest war­rant for Park, which al­lows the for­mer leader to be de­tained for as long as six more months.

Park was taken into cus­tody in late March af­ter the con­sti­tu­tional court ap­proved her im­peach­ment over a cor­rup­tion scan­dal em­broil­ing Park and her long­time con­fi­dante Choi Soon-sil.

The ini­tial ar­rest war­rant was sched­uled to ter­mi­nate next Mon­day. By lo­cal law, a crim­i­nal sus­pect can be de­tained as long as six months with a de­ten­tion war­rant.

The court was quoted by lo­cal me­dia out­lets as say­ing the ex­tended de­ten­tion can be jus­ti­fied and used if there are con­cerns “about the de­struc­tion of ev­i­dence”.

Pros­e­cu­tors have claimed the ex­tended de­ten­tion, say­ing that if Park stands trial with­out de­ten­tion, she would not ap­pear in the court hear­ings cit­ing health prob­lems or prepa­ra­tions for plead­ing.

Park had not at­tended the court hear­ings sev­eral times cit­ing health prob­lems such as a toe pain.

Park’s at­tor­neys asked for nu­mer­ous wit­nesses’ ap­pear­ance in the court, trig­ger­ing crit­i­cism that she at­tempted to in­ten­tion­ally de­lay the hear­ings for the pur­pose of stand­ing trial with­out de­ten­tion.

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