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Former President Park Geun-hye arrested as court grants warrant request Updated: 2017-03-31 19:57:37 KST


Former President Park Geun-hye was arrested in the predawn hours of Friday morning as the Seoul Central District Court granted the state prosecutors' warrant request, just 21 days after she was impeached.
She's now the country's third former president to be arrested on criminal charges, after Roh Tae-woo and Chun Doo-hwan.
Park Geun-hye left her private residence at 10:09 a.m. on Thursday and arrived at the Seoul Central District Court 11 minutes later.
Her arrest warrant hearing commenced at 10:30 a.m. and continued for about two and a half hours until the court adjourned for lunch.
Court was back in session an hour later and went until another short 15-minute break later in the afternoon.
The hearing lasted nearly nine hours in all -- the longest since the warrant hearing system was first introduced 20 years ago.
She waited another eight hours at the nearby Seoul Central District Prosecutors' Office while the judge deliberated the ruling, which he issued at 3 a.m.
By 4:30 a.m.,.. Park was on her way to her next destination -- the Seoul Detention Center.

In issuing his ruling, the judge said: (quote) "The grounds and necessity for Park's arrest are acknowledged, and there's a concern over the destruction of evidence."
There are 13 charges against Park, more than for the two other former presidents arrested in the past.
The charges include, colluding with her confidante Choi Soon-sil to extort tens of millions of dollars from conglomerates, leaking confidential presidential office documents to Choi and ordering the creation of a blacklist of cultural figures critical of the government.
Many of Park's alleged accomplices, including Choi and Samsung Electronics vice chairman Lee Jae-yong, have already either been arrested or jailed for their suspected involvement in the scandal.
Now that Park has been detained, prosecutors will have up to 20 days to continue their investigation and formally indict her.
If she's convicted of receiving bribes, she could be facing a minimum of ten years in jail.
Hwang Hojun, Arirang News.
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