World

S Korea's former president Park took millions from spy agency: Report

SEOUL: Ousted South Korean president Park Geun Hye is to be charged with accepting millions of dollars worth of bribes from the state spy agency, news reports said yesterday.

Park allegedly received between 50 and 200 million won (now S$62,500 to S$250,000) from the National Intelligence Service (NIS) every month from soon after her swearing-in in early 2013 until mid-2016, prosecutors told South Korean media.

The cash - said to total 3.8 billion won - was reportedly delivered by NIS agents to Park's aides in uncrowded carparks or in back alleys near the presidential Blue House.

The money came from the spy agency's "blind budget" - millions of dollars of special funds that can be spent without receipts for anti-espionage activities - Yonhap news agency said.

It remains unclear how Park spent the funds, but news reports said she used them for personal purposes or to bankroll supporter groups.

Park is already on trial on 18 charges including bribery, coercion and abuse of power for offering governmental favours to tycoons, and prosecutors will add a 19th count to the indictment regarding the payments, reports said.

South Korea's first female president was impeached by parliament after months of mass protests over a sprawling graft scandal, and the constitutional court upheld the decision in March last year, dismissing her from office.

She has been in custody since March 31.

WORLD