S. Korean court extends Park’s detention
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.