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S Korean Court May Decide on Arrest Warrant for Ex-President Park Thursday

© REUTERS / Kim Do-hoon/YonhapA large electronic board broadcasts a news report on South Korean President Park Geun-hye releasing a statement to the public as the Presidential Blue House (top L) is seen in the background, in central Seoul, South Korea, November 29, 2016.
A large electronic board broadcasts a news report on South Korean President Park Geun-hye releasing a statement to the public as the Presidential Blue House (top L) is seen in the background, in central Seoul, South Korea, November 29, 2016. - Sputnik International
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The Central District Court in Seoul held a hearing on Thursday to decide whether or not to approve the arrest warrant for South Korean ex-President Park Geun-hye over the corruption probe, and the decision may be taken later in the day or on Friday morning, local media reported.

TOKYO (Sputnik) — According to the Yonhap news agency, Park appeared before the court at around 10:20 a.m. local time (01:20 GMT) and refused to give any comments to reporters, who gathered at the courthouse.

The police enhanced security measures near the courthouse amid rallies held by Park's supporters and opponents near the court and outside her private residence, the news outlet said.

© REUTERS / Chung Sung-Jun/PoolChoi Soon-sil, the woman at the centre of the South Korean political scandal and long-time friend of President Park Geun-hye, appears for her first trial at the Seoul Central District Court on January 5, 2017 in Seoul, South Korea
Choi Soon-sil, the woman at the centre of the South Korean political scandal and long-time friend of President Park Geun-hye, appears for her first trial at the Seoul Central District Court on January 5, 2017 in Seoul, South Korea - Sputnik International
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Choi Soon-sil, the woman at the centre of the South Korean political scandal and long-time friend of President Park Geun-hye, appears for her first trial at the Seoul Central District Court on January 5, 2017 in Seoul, South Korea
© AP Photo / Ahn Young-joonProtesters shout slogans during a candle light vigil calling for impeached President Park Geun-hye to step down in Seoul, South Korea
Protesters shout slogans during a candle light vigil calling for impeached President Park Geun-hye to step down in Seoul, South Korea - Sputnik International
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Protesters shout slogans during a candle light vigil calling for impeached President Park Geun-hye to step down in Seoul, South Korea
© REUTERS / Kim Hong-JiPeople set off fireworks on a road leading to the Presidential Blue House during a protest calling for South Korean President Park Geun-hye to step down in central Seoul, South Korea, December 10, 2016
People set off fireworks on a road leading to the Presidential Blue House during a protest calling for South Korean President Park Geun-hye to step down in central Seoul, South Korea, December 10, 2016 - Sputnik International
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People set off fireworks on a road leading to the Presidential Blue House during a protest calling for South Korean President Park Geun-hye to step down in central Seoul, South Korea, December 10, 2016
© REUTERS / News1People react after impeachment vote on South Korean President Park Geun-hye was passed, in front of the National Assembly in Seoul, South Korea, December 9, 2016. The sign reads "Impeach Park Geun-hye". News1 via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE HAS BEEN SUPPLIED BY A THIRD PARTY. SOUTH KOREA OUT. FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY. NO RESALES. NO ARCHIVE.
People react after impeachment vote on South Korean President Park Geun-hye was passed, in front of the National Assembly in Seoul, South Korea, December 9, 2016. The sign reads Impeach Park Geun-hye. - Sputnik International
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People react after impeachment vote on South Korean President Park Geun-hye was passed, in front of the National Assembly in Seoul, South Korea, December 9, 2016. The sign reads "Impeach Park Geun-hye". News1 via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE HAS BEEN SUPPLIED BY A THIRD PARTY. SOUTH KOREA OUT. FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY. NO RESALES. NO ARCHIVE.
© REUTERS / Kim Hong-Ji An effigy of South Korean President Park Geun-hye is seen behind people marching towards the Presidential Blue House during a protest calling for South Korean President Park Geun-hye to step down in central Seoul, South Korea, December 10, 2016
An effigy of South Korean President Park Geun-hye is seen behind people marching towards the Presidential Blue House during a protest calling for South Korean President Park Geun-hye to step down in central Seoul, South Korea, December 10, 2016 - Sputnik International
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An effigy of South Korean President Park Geun-hye is seen behind people marching towards the Presidential Blue House during a protest calling for South Korean President Park Geun-hye to step down in central Seoul, South Korea, December 10, 2016
© AP Photo / Lee Jin-manPolice officers try to drag down a protesting farmer from a tractor as they are blocked by police officers before a rally demanding the impeachment of South Korean President Park Geun-hye in front of the National Assembly in Seoul, South Korea, Friday, Dec. 9, 2016. Park entered what could be her last day in power Friday, as lawmakers geared up for what's widely expected to be a successful impeachment vote amid a corruption scandal that has left her isolated and loathed. The banner held by a farmer reads: "Park Geun-hye, impeachment." (AP Photo/Lee Jin-man)
Police officers try to drag down a protesting farmer from a tractor as they are blocked by police officers before a rally demanding the impeachment of South Korean President Park Geun-hye in front of the National Assembly in Seoul, South Korea, Friday, Dec. 9, 2016. - Sputnik International
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Police officers try to drag down a protesting farmer from a tractor as they are blocked by police officers before a rally demanding the impeachment of South Korean President Park Geun-hye in front of the National Assembly in Seoul, South Korea, Friday, Dec. 9, 2016. Park entered what could be her last day in power Friday, as lawmakers geared up for what's widely expected to be a successful impeachment vote amid a corruption scandal that has left her isolated and loathed. The banner held by a farmer reads: "Park Geun-hye, impeachment." (AP Photo/Lee Jin-man)
© REUTERS / Kim Hong-JiProtesters chant slogans during a rally demanding the impeachment of South Korean President Park Geun-hye in front of the National Assembly in Seoul, South Korea, December 9, 2016. The sign reads "Arrest Park Geun-hye". REUTERS/Kim Hong-Ji
Protesters chant slogans during a rally demanding the impeachment of South Korean President Park Geun-hye in front of the National Assembly in Seoul, South Korea, December 9, 2016. The sign reads Arrest Park Geun-hye. - Sputnik International
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Protesters chant slogans during a rally demanding the impeachment of South Korean President Park Geun-hye in front of the National Assembly in Seoul, South Korea, December 9, 2016. The sign reads "Arrest Park Geun-hye". REUTERS/Kim Hong-Ji
© AP Photo / Lee Jin-manProtesters hold candles during a rally calling for South Korean President Park Geun-hye to step down in Seoul, South Korea
Protesters hold candles during a rally calling for South Korean President Park Geun-hye to step down in Seoul, South Korea - Sputnik International
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Protesters hold candles during a rally calling for South Korean President Park Geun-hye to step down in Seoul, South Korea
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Choi Soon-sil, the woman at the centre of the South Korean political scandal and long-time friend of President Park Geun-hye, appears for her first trial at the Seoul Central District Court on January 5, 2017 in Seoul, South Korea
2/8
Protesters shout slogans during a candle light vigil calling for impeached President Park Geun-hye to step down in Seoul, South Korea
3/8
People set off fireworks on a road leading to the Presidential Blue House during a protest calling for South Korean President Park Geun-hye to step down in central Seoul, South Korea, December 10, 2016
4/8
People react after impeachment vote on South Korean President Park Geun-hye was passed, in front of the National Assembly in Seoul, South Korea, December 9, 2016. The sign reads "Impeach Park Geun-hye". News1 via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE HAS BEEN SUPPLIED BY A THIRD PARTY. SOUTH KOREA OUT. FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY. NO RESALES. NO ARCHIVE.
5/8
An effigy of South Korean President Park Geun-hye is seen behind people marching towards the Presidential Blue House during a protest calling for South Korean President Park Geun-hye to step down in central Seoul, South Korea, December 10, 2016
6/8
Police officers try to drag down a protesting farmer from a tractor as they are blocked by police officers before a rally demanding the impeachment of South Korean President Park Geun-hye in front of the National Assembly in Seoul, South Korea, Friday, Dec. 9, 2016. Park entered what could be her last day in power Friday, as lawmakers geared up for what's widely expected to be a successful impeachment vote amid a corruption scandal that has left her isolated and loathed. The banner held by a farmer reads: "Park Geun-hye, impeachment." (AP Photo/Lee Jin-man)
7/8
Protesters chant slogans during a rally demanding the impeachment of South Korean President Park Geun-hye in front of the National Assembly in Seoul, South Korea, December 9, 2016. The sign reads "Arrest Park Geun-hye". REUTERS/Kim Hong-Ji
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Protesters hold candles during a rally calling for South Korean President Park Geun-hye to step down in Seoul, South Korea

The corruption scandal involving Park and her friend and close associate Choi Soon-sil erupted in October 2016, leading to Park’s impeachment in December. Choi was allegedly meddling in state affairs without holding any official post, and helping to extort money from big corporations.

Olympic Park in Pyeongchang - Sputnik International
No Info on S. Korea Corruption Case Influencing 2018 Olympics Preparations – IOC

On Monday, media reported that South Korean prosecutors had requested an arrest warrant for Park as they suspect her of involvement in 13 different cases of bribery, coercion and abuse of power.

Park, in particular, has been charged with forcing major corporations, including Samsung, to donate to foundations controlled by Choi and taking bribes, as well as with forcing companies to sign contracts beneficial for Choi herself and her associates.

The ex-president was also accused of compiling a blacklist of cultural figures, who had been banned from state support, and pressing some Culture Ministry officials to resign over different reasons.

Earlier in March, Park denied all charges against her during the first questioning period.

On March 10, the Constitutional court upheld the parliament’s decision to impeach Park. An early presidential election in the country is scheduled to take place on May 9.

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