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Park appears in court over arrest request

By Xinhua-afp | China Daily | Updated: 2017-03-31 07:55

SEOUL - South Korea's ousted president Park Geun-hye appeared in court on Thursday at a hearing to decide whether she should be arrested over the corruption and abuse of power scandal that brought her down.

Looking grim-faced and pale, Park ignored a barrage of press flashbulbs and did not speak when she arrived at the Seoul Central District Court.

Her formal detention and transfer to custody would be a dramatic step in the disgrace of South Korea's first woman president, and is a key demand of the millions of people who took to the streets to protest against her as the scandal engulfed her leadership last year.

The former president, who was stripped of her immunity when she was dismissed from office by the country's top court earlier this month, is accused of multiple offenses including bribery, leaking government information, and abuse of power. Park has denied all charges.

Prosecutors have submitted around 120,000 pages of documents to the Seoul Central District Court in relation to the charges against Park.

The 65-year-old was driven away from her home in southern Seoul past hundreds of flag-waving, screaming supporters lining the narrow street.

Thursday's hearing was expected to last for several hours, with Park sitting in the center facing judge Kang Bu-young, 43, with lawyers and prosecutors to either side.

"We are not even halfway through," Yonhap news agency cited Park's attorney as saying when the hearing resumed after lunch.

Afterward the ex-president was to be removed to a detention center to await Kang's decision, which was not expected until late into the night - although he has to make it within 24 hours.

 Park appears in court over arrest request

Park Geun-hye arrives for questioning on her arrest warrant at a court in Seoul on Thursday.Ahn Youngjoon/ Reuters

(China Daily 03/31/2017 page12)

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