Now Park might also be the first democratically elected South Korean leader to be put behind bars.
Former president Park Geun-hye is set to become the third ex-Korean president to face arrest on criminal charges after prosecutors on Monday filed for a court warrant for pretrial detention citing gravity of the crimes she is accused of and fear of destruction of evidence. She has denied the allegations against her. Her arrest depends on whether the court grants the warrant, a decision that is expected by the end of the week after the court holds a hearing on Thursday. "These are grave issues", the prosecutors said in a statement.
Prosecutors said they requested the warrant for Park based on the severity of the charges against her and because there is a risk she could destroy evidence.
She is accused of multiple offenses including bribery, leaking government information and abuse of power.
A bribery conviction alone is punishable with up to a life sentence in South Korea.
When Park was still president, she was able to avoid questioning and refused investigators entry into her office because of immunity from prosecution granted to sitting South Korean presidents. Samsung's acting leader, Jay Y. Lee, now sits in a jail cell for allegedly promising some $38 million and a dressage horse to the Choi Soon-sil nonprofits.
Choi is now on trial, as is Lee Jae-yong, the de facto head of Samsung, who is alleged to have given or promised to give Choi about $37 million.
Park has denied any wrongdoing, saying the conglomerates donated voluntarily to the foundations in line with the government's policy to foster the cultural and sports sectors.
The attempt was made at about 4:40 p.m. local time (0740GMT) to search the offices of Woo Byung-woo, former senior presidential secretary for civil affairs tasked with supervising prosecutors, police and the intelligence agency.