Ousted South Korean President Park Geun-hye Is Formally Indicted

South Korea's former president Park Geun-hye has been formally charged with bribery and abuse of power, setting the stage for a trial that could potentially send her to prison for life.

The prosecution indicted former President Park Geun-hye on April 17 on charges including bribery and abuse of power, concluding a six-month probe into the corruption scandal that forced her out of office. Park is being accused of colluding with her confidante Choi Soon-sil to extort bribes worth more than 70 million US dollars from local conglomerates, and in particular from Samsung. Since her arrest, prosecutors have questioned Park five more times inside the Seoul Detention Center, where she has been held since her arrest.

Prosecutors allege Park colluded with Choi to make Lotte's Shin give 7 billion won ($6.2 million) in bribes to a foundation Choi had set up.

Park and Choi allegedly conspired with one of Park's top presidential advisers to pressure 18 business groups, including Samsung, to donate 77.4 bn won for the launch of two non-profit foundations controlled by Choi.

Lotte has denied allegations that it made improper deals with Park, or those linked to her, for favours. Park, Lee, Choi and Samsung Group have also denied wrongdoing.

Park was removed from office and arrested in March after the South Korean parliament chose to impeach her for the scandals.

Prosecutors arrested Park on bribery and a dozen other criminal charges in March. Choi and Samsung's top executive, Lee Jae-yong, were also under arrest and on trial.

- 1963: Park, then 11, moves into the presidential Blue House after her father, Park Chung-hee, becomes president, two years after he staged a coup and took control of the country.

Park is accused of leaking state secrets to Choi, a high school graduate with no title or security clearance, and letting her handle a wide range of state affairs including senior nomination.

She allegedly used her links to the president to force local firms to "donate" almost 66 million euros to organizations, and allegedly used the cash for personal gain. Some recall him as an abuser of human rights on an enormous scale while others credit him with spearheading a rapid economic rise in the 1960-70s.

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