S.Korean president appoints independent counsel for probe into her own scandal

SEOUL, Nov. 30 (Xinhua) -- South Korean President Park Geun-hye on Wednesday appointed a special prosecutor who will investigate into her own scandal independently, Parks office said.

Park Young-soo, former senior prosecutor, was selected by the scandal-hit president as the independent counsel among two candidates proposed by three main opposition parties, according to the presidential Blue House.

President Park said she hopes for a rapid, thorough investigation into the scandal, expressing her appreciation to prosecutors who have probed the case until now, Parks spokesman said.

The embattled president said she will actively cooperate with the special prosecutors investigation after it kicks off, vowing to accept the questioning by the independent counsel to explain in detail about whats the truth behind the scandal.

The newly-appointed independent counsel will form his team, composed of four deputy special prosecutors, 20 dispatched prosecutors and 40 other investigators, in 20 days.

And then, they will investigate the presidential scandal for as long as 70 days. The independent counsel is allowed to extend his probe once for as long as 30 days.

The special investigative unit of the Seoul Central District Prosecutors Office, which has been in charge of the case, will leave its probe to the special prosecutor.

The prosecution office had repeatedly requested face-to-face interrogations of President Park, who refused any quizzing by the prosecutors.

Prosecutors have said President Park conspired with her decades-long friend, Choi Soon-sil, in extorting tens of millions of U.S. dollars from large business conglomerates in return for granting business favors.

Park has been identified as an accomplice to the illegal leakage of secret government documents to Choi. Park has been also accused of pressuring a large conglomerate into making contracts with a public relations agency controlled by Choi.

Park became the first South Korean leader to be investigated as a criminal suspect.

[ Editor: Jiaming ]


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