S Korea pros­e­cu­tors want to ques­tion pres­i­dent over scan­dal

Kuwait Times - - INTERNATIONAL -

South Korean pros­e­cu­tors want to ques­tion Pres­i­dent Park Geun-hye this week over suspicion that she let a shad­owy long­time con­fi­dante ma­nip­u­late power from be­hind the scenes, an of­fi­cial said yes­ter­day. It would be the first time that a sit­ting South Korean pres­i­dent has been ques­tioned by pros­e­cu­tors. The ex­plo­sive scan­dal is the most se­ri­ous chal­lenge for Park, whose pub­lic apolo­gies have done lit­tle to calm pub­lic anger.

Pros­e­cu­tors are seek­ing to ques­tion Park face-to-face on ei­ther to­mor­row day or Wed­nes­day at the lat­est, a pros­e­cu­tion of­fi­cial said. The of­fi­cial, who spoke on con­di­tion of anonymity be­cause the in­ves­ti­ga­tion was un­der­way, said pros­e­cu­tors con­veyed their po­si­tion to Park’s of­fice and were await­ing a re­sponse. The pres­i­dent’s of­fice said ear­lier yes­ter­day that it can work out its po­si­tion on a Park in­ves­ti­ga­tion as early as to­mor­row. It said it needs time to re­view when and how Park should be in­ves­ti­gated.

In ad­di­tion to al­legedly ma­nip­u­lat­ing power, the pres­i­dent’s con­fi­dante, Choi Soon-sil, the daugh­ter of a late cult leader who emerged as Park’s men­tor in the 1970s, is also sus­pected of ex­ploit­ing her pres­i­den­tial ties to bully com­pa­nies into do­nat­ing tens of mil­lions of dol­lars to foun­da­tions she con­trolled. Choi was for­mally ar­rested on Nov. 3 on charges of fraud and abuse of power. Pros­e­cu­tors have un­til Nov. 20 to for­mally charge her. On Satur­day, hun­dreds of thou­sands of peo­ple flooded Seoul’s streets to de­mand Park’s res­ig­na­tion in what may be South Korea’s largest protest since it shook off dictatorship three decades ago. — AP

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