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(LEAD) Park questioned over corruption scandal at detention center

All News 14:53 April 04, 2017

(ATTN: ADDS more details in paras 2-4, 8)

SEOUL, April 4 (Yonhap) -- Prosecutors on Tuesday grilled ex-President Park Geun-hye for the first time since she was arrested last week over corruption allegations that removed her from office.

The questioning began at 10 a.m. at a detention center in Uiwang, south of Seoul, where Park is incarcerated, prosecutors said. Park's legal representative Yoo Yeong-ha accompanied her during the interrogation.

Prosecutors originally planned to question her at their office, but her lawyer requested it take place at the detention house in consideration of Park's mental condition and security issues.

The inquiry is expected to end before 6 p.m., they said, adding that it was not videotaped. Prosecutors declined to comment on further details.

Park went through a marathon interrogation by prosecutors last month and was arrested Friday on charges of bribery, abuse of power, coercion and leaking government secrets.

Park was named an accomplice in her longtime friend Choi Soon-sil's bribery allegations involving South Korea's largest business group Samsung. The first trial on Choi's bribery allegations began on the same day.

The former president is also suspected of colluding with Choi in coercing nearly 80 billion won (US$71.8 million) from dozens of local conglomerates in claimed donations to two non-profit foundations allegedly controlled by Choi.

Both Park and Choi are flatly denying the charges.

The prosecution is widely expected to indict Park by mid-April on at least 13 separate criminal accounts.

Former President Park Geun-hye leaves the Seoul Central District Prosecutors' Office in a car on March 31, 2017, as she is transfered to a detention house after a court issued a warrant to arrest her in connection with a corruption scandal that led to her removal from office. (Yonhap)


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