South Korean acting leader and Prime Minister Hwang Kyo-ahn, center, speaks during a cabinet meeting at the government complex in Seoul, South Korea, Tuesday, March 14, 2017. Hwang Tuesday turned down the resignation offers made by senior advisers to ousted President Park Geun-hye. Thirteen policy advisers and aides for Park had offered to quit after Park was removed from office on Friday on a corruption scandal. (Baek Seung-ryul/Yonhap via AP)

S. Korean prosecutors plan to question Park next week

March 14, 2017 - 9:45 pm

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — South Korean prosecutors said Wednesday they plan to summon and question ousted President Park Geun-hye next week over a corruption scandal that removed her from office.

Park lost her presidential immunity from prosecution after the Constitutional Court ruled Friday to formally end her rule over allegations that she colluded with a longtime confidante to extort money from businesses and allowed her pull government strings from the shadows.

Prosecutors said they told Park's lawyer that they'll summon her next Tuesday as a suspect in the scandal. No further details were provided.

Dozens of high-profile figures including some top Park administration officials and Samsung heir Lee Jae-yong have already been indicted over the scandal.

Park could also face extortion, bribery and other criminal charges, but she has denied any legal wrongdoing and expressed defiance toward her corruption allegations.

"Although it will take time, I believe the truth will certainly come out," Park said after leaving the presidential Blue House on Sunday.

Park's comments raised worries about a further deepening of the national divide over her fate. Three people died and dozens were injured in violent clashes between Park's supporters and police following Friday's court ruling.

An election to pick Park's successor will be held by May. Moon Jae-in, a liberal opposition leader who lost the 2012 presidential election to Park, is the favorite to be the country's next leader in opinion surveys.

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