Former South Korean Prez Park Geun-hye arrested for graft

South Korean President Park Geun-hye

Seoul, March 31: South Korea’s former president Park Geun-hye was arrested on Thursday night on charges of corruption and abuse of power that brought her down.

A convoy of vehicles, including a black sedan carrying Park, entered a detention facility near Seoul after the Seoul Central District Court granted prosecutors request to arrest her.

The Seoul Central District Court issued a warrant to arrest Park on charges of bribery, abuse of authority, coercion, and leaking government secrets, after a marathon court hearing the previous day.

It is justifiable and necessary to arrest (Park) as key charges were justified and there is a risk of evidence being destroyed, the court said in a statement.

The former president was grilled for nearly nine hours in court on Thursday as a judge deliberated whether she should be arrested.

Prosecutors can detain her for up to 20 days before formally charging her. She will likely be in jail while her case is heard.

The former president was stripped of her immunity when she was dismissed from office by the country’s top court earlier this month. Park, 65, has denied the accusations against her.

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