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SEOUL, South Korea – South Korean prosecutors on Wednesday ordered ousted president Park Geun-Hye to appear before them for questioning in connection with the corruption scandal that brought her down, they said.
Park, who was dismissed by the Constitutional Court last week, was required to attend a prosecutors’ office in Seoul next Tuesday, a spokesman said. “We have sent the order … to Park’s lawyer this morning. The summons date is 9:30 am on March 21,” he said in a statement.
Park, a criminal suspect in the scandal, had repeatedly refused to make herself available for questioning by the prosecutors before the country’s highest court confirmed her impeachment.
Park’s lawyer said she would “cooperate” with the probe.
The corruption and influence-peddling scandal is centered on Park’s close confidante Choi Soon-Sil, who is standing trial for abuse of power and coercion.
Choi is accused of using her presidential ties to force local firms including Samsung to “donate” nearly $70 million to non-profit foundations she allegedly used for personal gain.
A South Korean animal rights group has accused Park of abandoning her pets after she left nine dogs at the presidential palace when she returned to her private home after a court stripped her of her office over a corruption scandal.
A spokesman from the presidential Blue House said Wednesday that the dogs will continue to stay at the presidential palace until they are ready to be sent to new owners.
It’s unclear whether Park’s refusal to keep the dogs qualifies as abandonment under the country’s animal protection law. (AFP/AP)