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South Korean ex-president officially indicted



South Korea’s ousted President Park Geun-hye was on Monday charged with bribery involving millions of dollars in a scandal that caused her downfall.

Park, whose impeachment was confirmed by Seoul’s top court last month, also faces charges of abusing her powers and leaking state secrets, Seoul prosecutors probing the scandal said in a statement.

“We have formally charged Park… with multiple offences including abuse of power, coercion, bribery, and leaking state secrets,” they said after wrapping up the months-long investigation.

Park is accused of colluding with her confidante Choi Soon-sil, who is already on trial, in coercing local conglomerates into donating a total of 77.4 billion won (68 million dollars) to two non-profit foundations.

Choi allegedly used some of the donations for personal gain.

Park is also accused of offering policy favors to the top businessmen who enriched Choi, including Samsung heir Lee Jae-yong, who was arrested earlier and is also on trial for bribery.

Lee Jae-yong (C), the vice-chairman of Samsung Electronics, is escorted by prison guards as he arrives at the Seoul Central District Court for his trial, in Seoul, April 13, 2017. (Photo by AFP)

Prosecutors on Monday also charged Shin Dong-bin, the chairman of the giant Lotte Group, with bribing Choi and Park.

Park, 65, has been behind bars at a detention center in the outskirts of Seoul since her arrest last month.

The scandal prompted millions to take to the street for weeks calling for the ousting of the conservative president. Parliament impeached Park last December amid growing public pressure.

There have however been rallies in her support, too.

(Source: AFP)

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