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Prosecution questions Park at detention center

Apr 05,2017
Former President Park Geun-hye, detained since Friday for an investigation into crimes she allegedly committed during her failed presidency, submitted to questioning by the prosecution at the Seoul Detention Center on Tuesday.

Senior prosecutor Han Woong-jae of the Seoul Central District Prosecutors’ Office, a prosecutor and an investigator, visited the center in the morning and started the interrogation around 10 a.m. Park was accompanied by lawyer Yoo Yeong-ha.

Han was the prosecutor who mostly grilled Park during her initial questioning at the prosecution on March 21. After the interrogation, the prosecutors obtained a warrant from a local court and took her into custody early Friday morning. Park was permanently removed from office earlier in March for having allowed her secret inner circle to influence state affairs for private gain.

According to the special investigation team, the questioning took place at an office space inside the Seoul Detention Center. No video recording was made of the session, as it previously was for the earlier questioning at the prosecution. At the time, Park requested there be no video or audio recording of the questioning. The prosecution granted her request.

A lunch break took place around 11:50 a.m. and the afternoon session started around 1:10 p.m., the prosecution said. The interrogation will not go late into the night due to the center’s policy, and the session is expected to end before 6 p.m., the prosecution said. Park is currently facing 13 charges, including bribery and abuse of power. The prosecution accused Park of receiving 43.3 billion won ($38.6 million) of bribes from Samsung Group in collusion with her friend, Choi Soon-sil.

Obtaining an admission from Park about the special nature of their relationship is a key objective of the interrogation. The prosecution has until April 19 to hold Park with the warrant, and the indictment is expected to be made before the official presidential campaign period starts on April 17.

BY SER MYO-JA [ser.myoja@joongang.co.kr]