During the fourth weekend of protests, the South Korean people continue to crowd the streets of the capital. The presidential office rejects the prosecutors accusations, who say Park is an "accomplice" and "suspect".
Seoul (AsiaNews) - About one million demonstrators took to the streets of Seoul to clamor for the resignation of South Korean president Park Geun-hye, involved in an alleged corruption scandal. It is South Korea’s largest protest since the 1980s.
The situation of the South Korean president Park Geun-hye continues to worsen, the Seoul prosecutor suspects her of colluding with longtime friend Choi Soon-sil, who was arrested in early November.
Choi was accused of using her influence on the president to extort large sums of money from 53 industry groups for a total amount of 65.7 million US dollars. Other important elements of this scandal are Chong An bum and Jeong Ho-seong, former assistants to the presidency. Choi and An are accused of abuse of power, instead Jeong was accused of divulging 180 classified documents - 47 of them contained state secrets – to Choi.
President Park still enjoys parliamentary immunity and does not seem to realize the gravity of the situation, according to the Koreatimes. In a November 22 article by Park Si-soo it published a conversation between the president and one of the collaborators of her presidential office, suggesting to Park Geun-hye that "it would be wise if you resign. And that it would be the best way to save face. If you stand aside and disappear from the public, then public outrage would be assuaged". But the president reportedly answered: "Did I do something wrong?".
This conversation was made public on Monday, 21 by Min Byeong-doo, representative of South Korea’s majority Democratic Party, who attests to the reliability of the information from intelligence sources. Min added: "The president does not seem to be able to think and analyze the situation. I think deep down she really believes that she is not guilty and can only make decisions herself ".
On Sunday, the prosecution said Park was an "accomplice" and "suspect". The presidential office did not hesitate to criticize the prosecutors decisions as "castles in the clouds", lacking in objective proof and swearing that Park will not cooperate with the prosecutors investigating the scandal.
He was accused of corruption, embezzlement and perjury and involved in the scandal that has engulfed the President Park. According to the judges the reasons are not sufficient to approve the request for provisional arrest.
He is accused of paying bribes to Choi Soon-sil worth more than US$ 36 million US. Prosecutors allege that the group also financed a Choi-owned sports company to the tune of US$ 18.3 million.
Choi Soon-sil, 60, has been a friend and confidant of the Park since her mother’s murder in 1974. Choi ‘s father was an ambiguous character, first a Buddhist monk, then Christian pastor, then a leader of a church he founded. Demonstrations in Seoul and Busan blaming Park of being a Choi “puppet”.
The largest mass demonstration since the 1990s, the third in a few days. Her relationship with Choi Soon-sil, the "Rasputin of Korea" under accusation. People have come from all over the country. A torchlight procession to the Blue House.
If the Seoul District Court agrees with the request and issues the arrest warrant, Park will be the first former South Korean president to be arrested since 1995. The charges against her include abuse of office, bribery and leaking government documents.