* Date : 2017-03-25
Foreign Correspondents Ep.26
Former president Park Geun-hye summoned
On March 21, former president Park Geun-hye made her appearance at the Seoul Central District Prosecutors' Office, becoming the country's fourth ex-leader to be questioned in a criminal investigation. Park is facing 13 charges including bribery, abuse of power, leaking government secrets, and violating medical laws. The prosecutors are said to be focusing their efforts on proving that the former president had received bribes, as this could have the largest impact on what judicial action is taken. From the nation's top office, former president Park Geun-hye has seen a dramatic fall, now being questioned as a criminal suspect. We look at what significance the interrogation of Park holds for the ongoing investigation and Korean politics as a whole.
Former presidents probed by prosecution
Three former Korean presidents have been summoned by prosecutors as criminal suspects in the past. The first former leader to be questioned was Roh Tae-woo in November 1995 on suspicions of bribery. A month later, ex-president Chun Doo-hwan was arrested as he refused to comply with the investigation. In 2009, ex-leader Roh Moo-hyun was accused of accepting illicit funds. Meanwhile, there have been incidents of former leaders being subject to criminal investigations in other countries as well. Former U.S. president Bill Clinton was probed for the so-called 'Lewinsky scandal,' while former Italian prime minister Silvio Berlusconi was given a seven-year jail sentence for engaging in underage prostitution. Japan’s ex-prime minister Kakuei Tanaka was also sentenced to prison for accepting 500 million yen, or 4-point-5 million dollars, in bribes. We sit down to take a closer look at these cases.