Park’s de­ten­tion ex­tended

The Korea Times - - FRONT PAGE - By Kim Bo-eun bkim@ktimes.com

A court ex­tended the de­ten­tion of for­mer Pres­i­dent Park Geun-hye, Fri­day.

The Seoul Cen­tral Dis­trict Court is­sued the war­rant sought by pros­e­cu­tors for ad­di­tional bribery charges in­volv­ing Lotte and SK, which were not in­cluded in the first ar­rest war­rant.

“The grounds and need for de­ten­tion are rec­og­nized be­cause of the pos­si­ble de­struc­tion of ev­i­dence,” the court said.

Park’s six-month de­ten­tion pe­riod ends at mid­night Mon­day. The new war­rant ex­tends the de­ten­tion pe­riod by two months, and two more two-month ex­ten­sions are pos­si­ble.

How­ever, the trial will likely be pro­ceeded with as swiftly as pos­si­ble, with the aim for it to be fin­ished be­fore the end of the year.

Park has been jailed on mul­ti­ple charges re­lated to the mas­sive cor­rup­tion scan­dal which led to her re­moval from of­fice in March.

The main charge she faces is re­ceiv­ing 29.8 bil­lion won out of a promised 43 bil­lion won ($37 million) in funds from Sam­sung Group in ex­change for fa­cil­i­tat­ing a power trans­fer from Chair­man Lee Kun-hee to his son Lee Jae-yong. The funds were handed over to Park’s long­time friend Choi Soon-sil and her daugh­ter.

Pros­e­cu­tors had con­tended that with­out de­ten­tion, Park would likely not at­tend hear­ings cit­ing health prob­lems.

Park vis­ited the Seoul St. Mary’s Hospi­tal on two oc­ca­sions to re­ceive treat­ment for pain in her back and toes.

Pros­e­cu­tors also claimed she may at­tempt to in­flu­ence wit­nesses who are set to be ques­tioned in court.

How­ever, Park’s le­gal rep­re­sen­ta­tive Yoo Young-ha said the hear­ings on the Lotte and SK cases are mostly done and that there­fore they can­not be cited as a rea­son for the ex­tended de­ten­tion.

Park Geun-hye

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