Seoul court ex­tends Park’s de­ten­tion

The Straits Times - - ASIA -

SEOUL Ousted South Korean pres­i­dent Park Geun Hye will be kept in de­ten­tion for a fur­ther six months, a Seoul court ruled yes­ter­day, as she stands trial in a cor­rup­tion case that top­pled her from power.

The sprawl­ing scan­dal in­volv­ing the for­mer leader and her pow­er­ful se­cret con­fi­dante, Choi Soon Sil, un­leashed mas­sive na­tion­wide protests last year and has ex­posed net­works of priv­i­lege among the coun­try’s busi­ness and po­lit­i­cal elite.

Park, 65, was im­peached in March and has been de­tained since then, while stand­ing trial on mul­ti­ple charges in­clud­ing abuse of power, co­er­cion and bribery that also in­volved the coun­try’s tech gi­ant Samsung.

The Seoul Cen­tral Dis­trict Court yes­ter­day ex­tended Park’s de­ten­tion un­til April next year, cit­ing a po­ten­tial risk of ev­i­dence be­ing de­stroyed. She stands ac­cused of of­fer­ing pol­icy favours to busi­ness ty­coons, in­clud­ing Samsung heir Lee Jae Yong who helped en­rich Choi – the daugh­ter of a shady re­li­gious fig­ure who was a long­time men­tor to Park un­til his death in 1994. Park is also ac­cused of let­ting Choi, who has no ti­tle or se­cu­rity clear­ance, han­dle a wide range of state af­fairs, in­clud­ing se­nior post nominations and Cab­i­net for­ma­tion.

The scan­dal also saw Lee con­victed of bribery and other charges re­lat­ing to pay­ments made by Samsung to Choi. Lee, cur­rently in jail and ap­peal­ing his five-year prison term, main­tains he is in­no­cent and was forced by Park to help en­rich Choi. Choi has also been de­tained for months while on trial for mul­ti­ple charges in­clud­ing co­er­cion and bribery.


Ousted South Korean pres­i­dent Park Geun Hye, who has been de­tained while stand­ing trial in a graft case, ar­riv­ing at a court in Seoul yes­ter­day.

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