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    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.

    S Korean Prosecution Team Confirms Park’s Involvement in Corruption Scandal

    © REUTERS / Kim Do-hoon/Yonhap
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    The South Korean special prosecution team confirmed on Monday that suspended South Korean President Park Geun-hye was involved in the corruption scheme, local media reported.

    TOKYO (Sputnik) – The team said in a press release that Park was an accomplice of her friend Choi Soon-sil, who took bribes from the Samsung company in exchange for business favors, the Yonhap news agency reported.

    The investigators believe Park and Choi used phones registered under names of other people to communicate 573 times between April and October 2016.

    The suspended president is also said to have been involved in blacklisting 9,473 liberal-leaning cultural figures, who were critical of her policy.

    Political scandal around the South Korean president broke out in late October 2016, when media reported that Park had allowed Choi influencing the country's policy. The scandal resulted in Park's impeachment in December 2016.

    Last week, the Constitutional Court had its final hearing and is expected to produce a final verdict upon the validity of the parliament's impeachment of Park before March 13. If the court approves the impeachment, the presidential election is to be held within 60 days after the ruling.

    The suspended president is also said to have been involved in blacklisting 9,473 liberal-leaning cultural figures, who were critical of her policy.

    "The probe ended accomplishing just half (of what was expected) due to the limited period and uncooperative attitude of those subject to the investigation," Independent Counsel Park Young-soo, who headed the team, told reporters as quoted by the media.

    Park’s legal representative Yoo Yeong-ha released a statement denying the allegations and saying that the investigation was politically biased. Samsung also disagreed with the investigation’s conclusions.

    Tags:
    Choi Soon-sil, Park Geun-hye, South Korea
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