November 18, 2016 09:38
President Park Geun-hye has managed to stave off questioning by prosecutors until next week.
Park's lawyer, who earlier demanded that his client answer prosecutors only in writing, said Thursday that investigators can question her next week over the snowballing corruption scandal that has engulfed her office.
"I will finish my preparations to represent the president as soon as possible and cooperate so that the questioning can be carried out next week," Yoo Yeong-ha said in a written statement.
He did not specify whether that will happen in person, and it remains to be seen whether Park will really face the music as Yoo added it will happen only if prosecutors fully finalize their investigation of the allegations against her.
Prosecutors on Wednesday said Park must submit to questioning in person by Friday, before the deadline for indicting Park’s crony Choi Soon-sil, who is at the heart of the scandal. But they have no powers to force a sitting president.
Meanwhile, prosecutors plan to indict Choi as well as longtime presidential aides An Chong-bum and Jeong Ho-seong on Sunday.
Absent a witness statement from Park, they will state in the written arraignment the president's suspected role in the crimes with which the other three are charged, and possibly amend it once she has finally been grilled.
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