South Korea prosecutors likely to question president

South Korea prosecutors likely to question president

Their latest announcement followed a demonstration hundreds of thousands strong in the capital Seoul on Saturday demanding Ms Park's resignation in South Korea's largest protest since military dictatorship ended three decades ago.

The Seoul Central District Prosecutors' Office in charge of probe into the Choi case was quoted as saying that it had delivered to the presidential office its request to investigate President Park on Tuesday or Wednesday.

She stands accused of using her close ties to the president to influence state affairs and direct millions of dollars in donations to non-profit organizations under her control, which she allegedly used for personal benefit.

The scandal has seen Park's approval ratings plummet to five percent - a record low for any serving South Korean president - with many mocking her for being Choi's "puppet".

But the presidential office cautioned that a response may not come until Tuesday because of Park's schedule and the process of appointing an attorney.

The court issued a warrant to arrest Jeong Ho-seong, the former secretary for private presidential affairs, over allegations of handing over state documents to Choi.

Even former supporters are turning against her. Kim Moo-sung, ex-leader of the ruling Saenuri Party, wrote on social media on Sunday that it was time to impeach Ms Park.

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The legislators urged the scandal-hit president to put down everything, indicating their demand for Park's resignation.

If would be the first time that a sitting president has been questioned by prosecutors.

Park's newly retained lawyer, Yoo Young-Ha, will discuss with Seoul prosecutors exactly when, where and how Park would be questioned, Park's spokesman told reporters.

Ahn is alleged to have granted Choi a free pass at the checkpoint of the presidential office. She's also the daughter of Park Chung-hee, the country's president from 1961 to 1979, who was assassinated by his own intelligence chief.

South Korea's constitution does not allow a sitting president to be prosecuted, but investigations are permissible.

Also subject to key investigations will be alleged favors granted to Choi's 20-year-old daughter when entering a prestigious university and 2.8 million euros (about 3 million US dollars) transferred by Samsung to a company co-owned by Choi and her daughter. If she steps down before the end of it, an election must be held within 60 days.

Park has said she has discussed with conglomerate heads in July previous year her desire for them to contribute more for culture without elaborating.