Date
8 December 2016
Park Geun-hye is the first sitting South Korean president to be targeted as a suspect in a corruption investigation. Photo: Reuters
Park Geun-hye is the first sitting South Korean president to be targeted as a suspect in a corruption investigation. Photo: Reuters

Park faces impeachment calls as prosecutors see collusion

South Korean President Park Geun-hye is facing calls for impeachment after prosecutors said she had a role in an influence-peddling scandal.

Moon Jae-in, a top contender for president in opinion polls and the former leader of the main opposition Democratic Party of Korea, said there’s a strong case for impeachment, Bloomberg reports.

“Park deserves to be arrested and it’s a shame,” he said while meeting with other opposition presidential candidates over lunch Sunday.

“We have a strong reason to impeach her. She has to discuss with lawmakers how to exit orderly first.

We will help her resign with honor and keep that honor even after her exit if she steps down now.”

Prosecutors earlier on Sunday said Park “colluded” with her former aides in a corruption case that has rocked the nation

They said they have secured enough evidence to believe she played a role while her long-time confidante Choi Soon-sil extracted money from some of the country’s biggest companies and gained access to classified information.

The presidential Blue House denied the allegations.

“The results announced by the prosecutors’ office are not true and are based on speculation and imagination,” Park’s spokesman Jung Youn-kuk said in a briefing on Sunday.

Park’s lawyer Yoo Yeoung-ha also rejected the allegations, according to a Yonhap report.

Charges against Choi and a former presidential aide include attempted coercion and abuse of authority while another aide was accused of leaking classified information, Lee Young-ryeol, the head of the Seoul Central District Prosecutors’ Office, said in a televised briefing earlier on Sunday.

Prosecutors will continue to investigate Park, Lee said. 

Park, the first South Korean president to be targeted as a suspect in a corruption investigation while in office, has asked for more time to prepare for her defense.

Her approval rating has dropped to 5 percent, according to Gallup Korea.

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