The probe into the corruption and power abuse scandal that has gripped Korea since last October has finally come to an end.
Prosecutors announced the results of their investigation on Monday afternoon, indicting the ousted President Park Geun-hye on a string of 18 charges including abuse of power, bribery, coercion and leaking government secrets.
The former president has been the prosecution's main target since she was impeached last month.
She initially underwent a marathon 21-hour interrogation and five subsequent interrogation sessions inside the Seoul Detention Center, where she has been held since her arrest.
Park is accused of colluding with her confidante Choi Soon-sil to extort bribes worth about 70 million U.S. dollars from at least seven local conglomerates, including Samsung and Lotte.
Park is also alleged to have given Choi access to 47 secret government documents between January 2013 and April 2016.
Prosecutors also charged Park with abuse of power for ordering her former chief of staff Kim Ki-choon and former Culture Minister Cho Yoon-sun to create a blacklist of cultural figures critical of the government, and to exclude those on the list from receiving government subsidies.
Park has denied all the charges, saying she was the victim of a conspiracy.
Prosecutors also indicted Shin Dong-bin, the chairman of Lotte Group, without detention, as the retail giant reportedly gave or promised to give (quote) "donations" of about 6 million U.S. dollars to foundations controlled by Choi, in exchange for government support for the company's bid to enter the lucrative duty-free business.
Former senior presidential secretary for civil affairs Woo Byung-woo was also indicted on charges including abuse of authority and perjury.
Woo is accused of aiding and abetting Choi Soon-sil with meddling in state affairs and exploiting her ties to Park to amass large sums of money.
Prosecutors had sought Woo's arrest, but the Seoul Central District Court denied the request last week.
"Now that the investigation into the corruption scandal has come to an end, the trial of Park Geun-hye is expected to begin after the presidential election on May 9th.
Hwang Hojun, Arirang News."