South Korean prosecutors to question Park Geun Hye as a suspect

South Korea's ousted leader Park Geun Hye sitting inside a vehicle as she leaves the Presidential Blue House in Seoul, South Korea, on March 12, 2017. PHOTO: REUTERS

SEOUL (REUTERS) - South Korean prosecutors will summon ousted president Park Geun Hye for questioning as a suspect in a corruption case that led to her impeachment, a prosecution official said on Tuesday (March 14), amid a political crisis that has gripped the country for months.

The prosecutor's office would notify Park on Wednesday when she will be summoned and would not negotiate on the timing, said the official who declined to be identified.

There was no immediate comment from Park. Her legal representatives were not available for comment.

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.

She became the country's first democratically elected president to be removed from office.

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.

A special prosecution team had earlier accused Park of colluding with a friend, Choi Soon Sil, to pressure big businesses into contributing to foundations set up to support her policy and allowing her to exert influence on state affairs.

Park and Choi both denied wrongdoing and while she was president, Park declined to answer prosecutors' questions.

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