March 15, 2017 12:52
Prosecutors have finally been able to summon ex-President Park Geun-hye to appear for questioning next Tuesday over the massive Cheong Wa Dae corruption scandal. With a string key aides standing trial on criminal charges, Park is the last of the chief suspects in the scandal who has yet to be questioned.
She repeatedly broke her promises to the public by refusing to be questioned by prosecutors as well as the independent counsel, but now she can no longer hide behind her presidential immunity.
It is difficult to fathom Park, but if she has any remaining hold on reality she must surely be keen to avoid being forced to answer questions. Only on Sunday she said through a spokesman, "The truth will be revealed, although it will take time." Surely the best way to reveal the truth is to answer all questions.
The main reason the Constitutional Court upheld Park's impeachment was overwhelming evidence that she extorted W77.4 billion from big conglomerates for two non-profits set up by her crony Choi Soon-sil as vehicles to amass fantastic wealth. Whether she promised the conglomerates favors in return and the money in fact constituted massive bribes is a key area that remains to be determined by prosecutors.
Park has also never explained why she allowed Choi, a woman without position or qualifications of any kind, to meddle extensively in government business. That alone would make her guilty of abuse of power.
There remains the unsavory prospect of yet another ex-president reporting to prosecutors for questioning as the flashlights go off all around her. It cannot be helped, but perhaps prosecutors can try and move ahead with their investigation briskly, efficiently and without trying to make a spectacle of Park. The majority of Koreans have grown weary of the histrionics. The sooner this sordid drama comes to an end, the better.
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