Bribery charges for ousted S Korea president

She 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, the former President of South Korea, was indicted on Monday on charges alleging she conspired with a confident to extort money from businesses and take bribes. Prosecutors suspect that Park promised favors regarding the two conglomerates' bids to operate duty-free shops and other pending issues. Its acting head Lee Jae-yong and Ms Choi are in the same detention centre as Ms Park awaiting trial.

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

Park has denied the allegations against her during five interrogation sessions.

Ko, who made some clothing items and bags for Park, revealed the controversial relationship between Park and Choi previous year, claiming that Choi received and edited the ex-president's speeches in advance. Park could face life imprisonment if charged and convicted of bribery on the scale alleged. South Korean prosecutors on Monday, April 17 indicted Park on high-profile corruption charges that could potentially send her to jail for life. The criminal trial of Park is expected to begin after the May 9 presidential election to minimize the political impact it could have on the election campaign that officially began earlier in the day.

She underwent a marathon 21-hour interrogation last month and was arrested soon after.

Park, 65-year-old daughter of the late former dictator Park Chung-Hee, spent almost two decades living in Seoul's sprawling presidential palace, before the allegations of corruption engulfed her presidency late last year.

According to prosecutors, Park and Choi allegedly took about 30 billion won ($26 million) in bribes from Samsung in return for a government support for a smooth company leadership transition.

Park is the daughter of the late dictator Park Chung-hee, one of the most divisive figures in South Korean history.

Park's downfall and the presidential election in South Korea also have the potential to rattle the delicate balance of global diplomacy in Asia at a time of heightened tensions with North Korea. Some recall him as an abuser of human rights on an enormous scale while others credit him with spearheading a rapid economic rise in the 1960-70s.

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