To probe own scandal, South Korean President Park Geun-hye appoints independent counsel
Seoul, Nov 30: South Korean President Park Geun-hye on Wednesday appointed an independent prosecutor to investigate into her own scandal, Parks office said.
Park Young-soo, former senior prosecutor, was selected by the scandal-hit President as the independent counsel among two candidates proposed by three main opposition parties, Xinhua news agency cited the Blue House as saying.
Park hopes for a rapid, thorough investigation into the scandal, expressing her appreciation to prosecutors who have probed the case until now, her spokesman said.
The President said she will actively cooperate in the investigation, vowing to accept the questioning by the independent counsel to explain in detail about the truth behind the scandal.
The newly-appointed counsel will form his team, composed of four deputy special prosecutors, 20 dispatched prosecutors and 40 other investigators, in 20 days.
They will investigate the scandal for as long as 70 days. The independent counsel is allowed to extend his probe once for as long as 30 days.
The special investigative unit of the Seoul Central District Prosecutors Office, which has been in charge of the case, will leave its probe to the special prosecutor.
The prosecution office had repeatedly requested face-to-face interrogations with Park, who refused any quizzing by the prosecutors.
Prosecutors said Park conspired with her decades-long friend, Choi Soon-sil, in extorting tens of millions of US dollars from large business conglomerates in return for granting business favours.
Park has been identified as an accomplice to the illegal leakage of secret government documents to Choi.
She has been also accused of pressuring a large conglomerate into making contracts with a public relations agency controlled by Choi.
Park became the first South Korean leader to be investigated as a criminal suspect.