S Korea's ousted leader Park arrested

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S Korea's ousted leader Park arrested

She has denied most of the allegations against her.

The corruption scandal involving Park and her friend and close associate Choi Soon-sil erupted in October 2016, leading to Park's impeachment in December.

Park has not yet been formally indicted, prosecutors said.

She is also accused of letting her friend, a high school graduate with no title or security clearance, handle a wide range of state affairs including nomination of top officials. Even as she maintains that she never sought personal advantage for herself, she could still be charged as a "joint principal offender", legal experts say-if prosecutors can prove that she was involved in planning to commit extortion with Ms Choi.

Ex-President Park Geun-hye was arrested early Friday after a court granted prosecutors' request for a warrant on a slew of charges including bribery, abuse of power and leaking government secrets.

Is she being held in a prison?

The arrest warrant was handed down by a judge at the Seoul Central District Court at around 3:00 a.m. Friday, March 31.

Park's removal from office capped months of paralysis and turmoil over the corruption scandal that also landed the head of the Samsung Group, South Korea's largest "chaebol", or family-run conglomerate, in detention and on trial.

What will her days in prison be like?

Come May 9, the entirety of South Korea will be participating yet again in a snap election to determine who will be the country's next leader.

Park's cell has a television, a toilet, a sink, a table and a mattress.

No outside food is allowed.

While there were some who said that Park should be shown lenience out of respect for her status as former president or for the sake of national harmony and unity, it's significant that the court has affirmed once again the great principle of the rule of law, namely, that all citizens are equal before the law.

The ousted South Korean leader Park Geun-hye.

Park's arrest warrant is valid until April 19, and the prosecution plans to question her further during this period. The surge in quality of life from the 1960s to the 1970s produced a nostalgia for her father that helped voters see her as the next savior for an economy hampered by income gaps and challenges from China.

Last week, she underwent a 21-hour interrogation session at the prosecutors' office, having refused repeated requests to be interviewed while in power.

"It will be hard for [Park's side] to insist they need an outsider to come in and do her hair", Kim said. Cosmetics are limited to toners and lotions. Hair dye is also unavailable.

Visitors are limited to one a day but detained inmates are allowed unlimited meeting time with their lawyers.

So who will takeover as the new leader?

The scandal dominated the headlines in South Korea and prompted mass protests when it emerged late past year. She denies the accusations against her, which includes taking a multi-million dollar bribe from South Korean technology giant, Samsung.

Zhang Baohui, professor of political science and director of the Centre for Asia Pacific Studies at Lingnan University in Hong Kong, is optimistic about South Korea's ability to withstand this political crisis.

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