Ousted South Korean President Park Geun-Hye. Pic/AFP
Seouol: Ousted South Korean President Park Geun-Hye was charged with bribery involving millions of dollars over the massive corruption and influence-peddling scandal that brought her down.
The former leader, already detained at a centre near Seoul, 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 the months-long investigation.
Park is accused of colluding with her confidante at the heart of the scandal, Choi Soon-sil, who is already on trial for coercing local conglomerates into donating a total of 77.4 billion won (USD 68 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.
Moon Jae-in leading polls
South Korea’s presidential campaign for the May 9 elections, started on Monday with opposition Democratic Party’s Moon Jae-in leading the polls. In total, 15 politicians have officially registered as candidates for the presidency and will participate in this 22-day election campaign, which will conclude on May 8.