Former President of South Korea Indicted, to Face Trial

31 2016 Ko Young-tae an associate of Choi Soon-sil who is suspected of having meddled in state affairs and peddled influence on various state projects by using her close relationship with former President Park Geun-hye

Park was taken into custody on March 31 after the Constitutional Court chose to uphold parliament's impeachment of South Korea's 11th president in an influence-peddling scandal.

Former South Korean President Park Geun-hye has been officially indicted on a number of charges including abuse of power, prosecutors confirmed Monday. Park has been questioned nearly half-a-dozen times for these charges since her detainment. She was impeached late past year, officially stripped of power in March and has been in a detention facility near Seoul since being arrested last month on allegations that she colluded with a confidante to extort money from businesses, take bribes and commit other wrongdoing.

Three televised apologies by Park couldn't stop the public outrage, which led to enormous protests in the capital Seoul. Park was also prosecuted on charges of abuse of power for ordering the administration to create and enforce a blacklist of artists critical of her.

Park denies all the charges, saying she's the victim of a conspiracy and did not know about Choi's alleged activities.

Ko, who made some clothing items and bags for Park, revealed the controversial relationship between Park and Choi past year, claiming that Choi received and edited the ex-president's speeches in advance.

If convicted of bribery, Park faces 10 years to life in prison - barring a presidential pardon from her successor.

Park is suspected of pressuring Lotte and SK to make additional donations of 7 billion won and 8.9 billion won, respectively, into a sports foundation controlled by Choi.

South Korea's biggest conglomerate has already been drawn into the inquiry.

Prosecutors indict Choi and two former Park aides in November, and lawmakers impeach Park a few weeks later.

South Korea pardoned two convicted former leaders in the late 1990s in a bid for national reconciliation amid financial crisis, and its court had until recently showed leniency toward jailing many corrupt business tycoons because of worries about hurting the economy. He joins Lee Jae-yong, the heir to the Samsung business empire, who was indicted at the end of February.

The scandal also shed light on her questionable, decades-long ties to Choi and Choi's father, a shady religious figure who wielded huge influence on Park from the 1970s until his death in 1994.

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