Ousted S. Korean president to indicate position before being questioned by prosecutors: lawyer

Xinhua | Updated: 2017-03-20 15:41

SEOUL - Ousted South Korean President Park Geun-hye will indicate her position before being questioned by prosecutors on Tuesday over the corruption scandal that led to her impeachment and ouster.

Sohn Beom-gyu, one of Park's legal team, said via text message that Park will convey her stance around the time she appears in the prosecutors' office for questioning.

The lawyer said Park had a prepared message to tell, but he noted that he was not informed of further details.

The special investigation headquarters of the Seoul Central District Prosecutors' Office, which took over the probe into the scandal embroiling Park from this month, had summoned the former president for questioning.

Park is scheduled to appear in the office at about 9:30 am local time on Tuesday, becoming the fourth South Korean former president to be interrogated by prosecutors.

She was permanently removed from office on March 10 as the constitutional court unanimously upheld the bill to impeach her, making Park the first South Korean leader to be ousted through impeachment.

Park has stayed at her private home in southern Seoul since she vacated the presidential Blue House on March 12.

During the questioning, state prosecutors would focus on Park's alleged involvement in charges of bribery, abuse of power and the leakage of state secrets, according to local media reports.

Park has been accused of colluding with her decades-long friend Choi Soon-sil, who is currently in custody, to receive tens of millions of US dollars in bribes from Samsung Electronics Vice Chairman Lee Jae-yong, the heir apparent of Samsung Group who was also taken into custody.

The kickbacks are suspected of being offered in return for helping Lee inherit the overall management control of the country's biggest family-controlled conglomerate from his ailing father Chairman Lee Kun-hee who has been hospitalized for heart attack for almost three years.

Park was also identified as an accomplice to Choi in extorting tens of millions of US dollars from scores of large business conglomerates to establish two nonprofit foundations Choi used for personal gains.

Choi has been charged with meddling in state affairs behind the scene by receiving government documents on a regular basis through Park's former presidential secretary.

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