South Korea's jailed former president Park Geun-hye was indicted Monday to stand trial on multiple charges including bribery for her active role in a corruption scandal that sparked months of political turmoil.
Park, 65, was arrested on March 31 on charges of bribery, abuse of authority, coercion and leaking government secrets. If convicted, she could be sentenced to more than 10 years in prison only with charges of bribery.
She allegedly conspired with her crony, Choi Soon-sil, to coerce businessmen to donate 77.4 billion won (68.5 million US dollars) to two nonprofit foundations controlled by Choi. Prosecutors said Park was accused of abusing her status and power to solicit bribes worth 59.2 billion won from Samsung and other top conglomerates in return for business favors.
Samsung's de factor leader Jay Y. Lee has been indicted for giving bribes to Choi, although Park argued businessmen have voluntarily donated money. Lotte Group Chairman Shin Dong-bin was indicted for providing seven billion won in return for a state license to operate a duty-free shop.
Park, who took office in early 2013, was impeached by parliament on December 9 at the height of anti-government protests. The constitutional court upheld her impeachment on March 10, accusing her of betraying the confidence of voters, and she was expelled from office two days later.
She was also accused of playing a role in blacklisting outspoken figures to prohibit government agencies from providing financial support to them. Her former aides were arrested for creating and managing a list of more than 9,000 artists, writers, and other cultural figures.
Lim Chang-won = firstname.lastname@example.org