S Korea arrests ousted president Park on bribery charges

Prosecutors now have 20 days to build their case against Park Geun-hye in the corruption scandal that has also led to the detention and trial of Samsung Group chief Jay Y Lee.

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

Park could face more than 10 years in jail if convicted of taking bribes in return for favours.

South Korea's Park Geun-hye, who was removed from office as president earlier this month after Parliament impeached her in December 2016, was arrested and put behind bars in the Seoul Detention Centre on Friday.

Park was charged with bribery in a corruption scandal that has also landed the head of the Samsung Group, Jay Y Lee, in detention and on trial.

The Seoul Central District Court approved the prosecutors' request for an arrest warrant for Park early on Friday after she gave about eight hours of testimony.

In a dramatic fall from power, Park, 65, was stripped of the presidency on March 10, to became South Korea's first democratically elected leader to be thrown out of office.

She is accused of colluding with a friend, Choi Soon-sil, to pressure big businesses to contribute funds to foundations that backed her policy initiatives.

Choi is already in custody and on trial. Both Park and Choi deny any wrongdoing.

Park and her lawyers had argued that she should not be arrested because she did not pose a flight risk and would not try to tamper with evidence.

But the court disagreed, and said she might try to manipulate evidence.

Just before dawn, Park was driven to the prison just outside Seoul.

TRT World spoke with journalist Bruce Harrison who has this update from the South Korean capital.

TRTWorld, Reuters