South Korean prosecutors on Monday indicted ousted President Park Geun-hye on multiple charges, including bribery, in the latest twist to a corruption scandal that rocked the country for months.
Park was arrested and confined to a detention facility near Seoul last month on allegations that she colluded with a confidante to extort from businesses and commit other wrongdoings.
The prosecutors' probe has already convulsed the country's biggest conglomerate, Samsung Group, with its chief Jay Y. Lee under arrest for bribing Park and her friend, Choi Soon-sil.
All three are being held at detention centres. They have denied wrongdoing.
Park was also charged with abuse of power and coercion by pressuring big businesses to contribute funds to non-profit foundations.
The court's decision marks yet another humiliating fall for Park - South Korea's first female president who was elected in 2012 amid a wave of conservative nostalgia for her late dictator father whose 18-year rule is marked by both rapid economic rise and extensive human rights abuses.
"This has been a breathtaking moment in South Korean politics, as we have seen this party dominating politics in the country - but with Park's fall there has been a complete breakdown of this conservative faction," Se-Woong Koo, a Korean politics specialist, told Al Jazeera.
Prosecutors on Monday also charged Lotte Group chairman Shin Dong-bin without detaining him.
Lotte has denied allegations that it made improper deals with Park, or those linked to her, for favours.