ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

South Korea prosecutors indict friend, former aides of President Park

SEOUL - South Korean prosecutors said on Sunday they had formally indicted a friend of President Park Geun-hye and two former aides in a corruption scandal engulfing her administration.

SEOUL - South Korean prosecutors said on Sunday they had formally indicted a friend of President Park Geun-hye and two former aides in a corruption scandal engulfing her administration.

Choi Soon-sil, Park's friend, and former presidential aide An Chong-bum are charged with abuse of power in pressuring conglomerates to contribute funds to foundations at the center of the scandal, said Lee Young-ryeol, head of the Seoul Central District Prosecutors' Office.

Lee added that his team believed Park had an accomplice role in the case but said she cannot be indicted because she has constitutional immunity.

"We will continue to investigate the president," Lee told reporters.

South Korea's presidential Blue House did not have an immediate comment.

ADVERTISEMENT

The indictments had been expected. Choi is accused of working with An to exert improper pressure on dozens of the country's biggest conglomerates to help raise 77.4 billion won ($65.59 million) on behalf of two non-profit foundations, according to the prosecutors.

Park's presidency has been rocked by allegations that Choi used her ties to the president to meddle in state affairs and wield improper influence, but she has resisted calls to resign.

Hundreds of thousands of demonstrators took to the streets of Seoul on Saturday in the fourth straight weekend of protests against her.

Prosecutors also indicted a second former presidential aide, Jeong Ho-seong, with leaking classified information to Choi.

An and Jeong both stepped down late last month as the crisis deepened.

Park has pledged to cooperate in the investigation but pushed back on the prosecutors' plan to question her last week.

South Korea's parliament has approved a bill to appoint a special prosecutor, who will conduct a separate and a more widereaching probe.

($1 = 1,180.0700 won)

Related Topics: CRIME
What To Read Next
Gate City Bank will also give $5,000 each to five other charities.
The death was ruled a homicide, court documents say.
The funds will be used to support the organization's Head Start projects.
A resolution looking to allow the legislature to consider work requirements on the newly expanded Medicaid program is one step closer to the 2024 ballot.