South Korean Supporters of Arrested Ex-president to Protest

A warrant for Park's arrest was issued in the early hours of the morning following a court hearing that lasted almost nine hours.

The prosecutors had been waiting for months to serve the former South Korean president with an arrest warrant; it took the judges an extraordinarily long day of deliberation to weigh the merits of their request.

She faces 13 charges in the scandal, including bribery, abuse of power, extortion and sharing state secrets with an unauthorized person, which is the largest number of charges faced by a former president.

"(Park) abused the mighty power and position as president to take bribes from companies and infringed upon the freedom of corporate management and leaked important confidential official information", a statement released Monday by the Seoul Central District Prosecutor's Office said. She re-entered the office in early 2013 after being elected the first female president of the country, but she failed to fulfill her five-year term and left the office in disgrace.

Park, 65, becomes the third former leader to be arrested over corruption in Asia's fourth-largest economy, where politics and big business have always been closely tied.

Park, the daughter of late dictator Park Chung-Hee, is the third former leader to be arrested over corruption in Asia's fourth-largest economy, where politics and big business have always been closely tied. The prosecutors are expected to hurry along Ms Park's case, and to press ahead with parallel investigations into other suspects in the scandal, while other politicians campaign for the presidency.

Lee Soon-gil, 77, a retired justice ministry official who was chief at the Seoul Detention Centre when Roh was held there, said the former president was given a bigger cell and a separate shower room and a toilet, whereas other inmates had wash stands and toilets inside their cells. She denies the charges. Prosecutors already branded Park and Choi as criminal accomplices.


Park is accused of colluding with friend and advisor Choi Soon-sil of soliciting donations from Korean businesses, most notably Samsung, to foundations friendly to Park's legislative agenda in exchange for political favors.

The election to choose her successor will be held on May 9.

Ms Park lost her presidential immunity and was dismissed from her post when the constitutional court upheld a decision by parliament in December to impeach her.

Park Geun-hye is now being held in a small cell at the Seoul Detention Center, which accounts for a significant change of scenery and lifestyle.

One of the privileges Park will have to give up if arrested will be getting her hair coiffed in the chignon style.

Ms Park's removal from office capped months of paralysis and turmoil over the corruption scandal that also landed the head of the Samsung conglomerate in detention and on trial. Park is also alleged to have passed on state secrets to Choi via a presidential aide.

Lee, who denies charges that he provided bribes in return for favours for Samsung, and Choi are both in detention and on trial separately.

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