Anchor: The prosecution is now interrogating former President Park Geun-hye in its investigation into the massive influence-peddling scandal that led to her ouster. Before entering into the district prosecutors’ office for questioning, Park briefly apologized to the Korean people for the current situation.
Kim Bum-soo has more.
Report: The impeached ex-president on Tuesday morning arrived at the Seoul Central District Prosecutors’ Office in a motorcade accompanied by the secret service.
Former President Park Geun-hye then stood before an army of reporters to issue a brief comment.
[Sound bite: former President Park Geun-hye (Korean)]
“I feel sorry to the public. I will sincerely cooperate with the investigation."
Park did not answer questions.
A total of 13 charges are brought against her, including bribery, power abuse and leaks of classified information.
The prosecution suspects that Park and her 40-year confidante Choi Soon-sil colluded to arrange Samsung Group’s bribes of over 43 billion won($36.42 million) to projects that were under Choi’s control for its heir's ownership succession.
Among others, SK Group is also suspected to have provided eleven-point-one billion won to Choi for the presidential pardon of then-incarcerated group chairman Chey Tae-won in 2015.
While ousting Park in a massive influence-peddling scandal earlier this month, the Constitutional Court said that she either instructed her officials to leak classified documents to Choi, or failed to properly handle such information.
The former president has also been named as an accomplice in blacklisting artists deemed critical of her administration.
Sources said that two senior prosecutors will take turns to ask Park questions as the she is assisted by two defense counsels taking turns. The questioning is expected to continue until at least Tuesday night.
Park lost her immunity from criminal charges as she was removed from office on March tenth following a court ruling that upheld her parliamentary impeachment.
Kim Bum-soo, KBS World Radio News.