Arrest warrant approved against South Korea’s ex-president Park


South Korea’s embattled former president Park Geun-hye has been incarcerated at a detention center following a court decision to approve a warrant for her arrest.

Prosecutors had requested Park’s arrest earlier this week over bribery and abuse of power charges during her tenure.

On Friday, a judge at the Seoul Central District Court said in a statement that, “The cause and the need for the warrant are recognized as the main charges against her have been verified and as evidence could be destroyed,” in a reference to the prosecutors’ concern that Park could destroy evidence if she remained free.

Prosecutors had submitted 120,000 pages of documents to the judge.

About two hours after the ruling, Park was taken to the Seoul Detention Center located just outside the capital city. She could remain locked up for up to 20 days while she is being investigated over the scandal.

Park is accused of colluding with a friend, Choi Soon-sil, to pressure big businesses, including Samsung, to contribute huge sums to non-profit foundations that were set up to back up her initiatives.

The supporters of South Korea’s ousted president Park Geun-hye clash with police outside Park’s home as she leaves for a hearing to decide whether she should be arrested over the corruption and abuse of power scandal, in Seoul, March 30, 2017. The court subsequently ruled that she be arrested. (Photo by AFP)

Park, 65, became the country’s first democratically-elected leader to be ousted from office when the Constitutional Court upheld a parliamentary impeachment vote against her on March 10.

She lost her impunity from prosecution when the March ruling was issued.

Park has denied wrongdoing but publicly apologized several times for carelessness in her ties with Choi, who has also denied the accusations against herself.

Choi is in detention while on going through a trial of her own.

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