S.Korean prosecutors to summon ex-President

A South Korean prosecutor said on Tuesday (14 March) that the office would summon the ousted president Park Geun-hye for questioning as a suspect in the influence-peddling scandal that led to her dismissal.

Son Bum-kyu, Park's attorney, made the remarks, raising speculation that she could accept the request this time for the face-to-face questioning, which she rejected a year ago based on the presidential immunity from criminal prosecution.

Ms Park's friend and secret confidante Choi Soon Sil is standing trial for using her ties to the former leader to force local firms to "donate" almost US$70 million (S$99 million) to non-profit foundations Choi allegedly used for personal gain. Other South Korean media carried a similar report.

Park's Blue House had 10 main presidential advisers on foreign policy, economy and other issues, but one position has been vacant since the arrest of one adviser over the scandal.

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Park has expressed defiance about the corruption allegations, raising worries about a further deepening of the national divide over her fate.

A presidential spokesman confirmed that the dogs were being looked after by Blue House staff for the time being - and would be found new homes. Three people died and dozens were injured in violent clashes between Park's supporters and police following Friday's court ruling.

"We will decide Wednesday when to summon former president Park and inform her", the spokesman of the Seoul Central District Prosecutors Office told AFP.

Park, the first South Korean leader to be ousted, has denied all the charges against her. Opinion polls show the Democratic Party's Moon Jae-in, who lost to Park in 2012, as the favorite to become the country's next leader.

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