South Korean prosecutors will summon ousted president Park Geun-hye for questioning as a suspect in a wide-ranging corruption case that led to her impeachment, according to prosecution sources and local media.
The Constitutional Court dismissed Park from office on Friday when it upheld a parliamentary impeachment vote over an influence-peddling scandal that has shaken the political and business elite. Park has denied any wrongdoing.
The prosecutors would decide by Wednesday when they would summon Park, the country’s first democratically elected president to be removed from office, the Yonhap news agency reported on Tuesday.
“We will decide Wednesday when to summon former President Park and inform her,” an unnamed spokesman of the Seoul Central District Prosecutors Office also told the AFP news agency on Tuesday.
It has not yet been decided whether Park will be called in to the prosecutors’ office in private, or publicly before TV cameras and photographers, he added.
The top court’s ruling ended a power struggle that had consumed the nation for months and marked a stunning downfall for Park, who convincingly defeated her liberal opponent in 2012 with overwhelming support from older South Koreans, who remembered her father, a former South Korean leader, as a hero.
Park left the Blue House presidential palace in Seoul on Sunday to return to her private home in the city as an ordinary citizen, stripped of her presidential immunity that has shielded her from prosecution.
Park said through a spokesman that she felt sorry about not being to complete her term but added that the truth would come out, striking a defiant tone about the prospect of facing an investigation.
She has already been named as a suspect for bribery and abuse of power for allegedly colluding with her secret confidante Choi Soon-Sil to extort money from a raft of companies, among them the giant Samsung corporation, whose chief has been indicted over a bribery scandal.