World

South Korea’s ex-president Park charged with bribery

SEOUL: South Korea's ousted President Park Geun Hye was yesterday charged with bribery involving millions of dollars over the corruption scandal that sparked her downfall.

Park, whose impeachment was confirmed by Seoul's top court last month, also faces charges of abusing her powers and leaking state secrets, Seoul prosecutors probing the scandal said in a statement.

"We have formally charged Park... with multiple offences including abuse of power, coercion, bribery and leaking state secrets," they said after wrapping up their months-long investigation.

She is accused of colluding with her confidante Choi Soon Sil, who is already on trial, for coercing local conglomerates into donating a total of 77.4 billion won (S$95 million) to two non-profit foundations.

Choi allegedly used some of the donations for personal gain.

Park is also accused of offering policy favours to top businessmen who enriched Choi, including Samsung heir Lee Jae Yong who was arrested earlier and is also on trial for bribery.

Prosecutors also charged Shin Dong-Bin, the chairman of the giant Lotte Group, yesterday with bribing Choi and Park.

Park, 65, has been behind bars at at a detention centre on the outskirts of Seoul since her arrest last month.- REUTERS

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