Former South Korean President Park Geun-hye apologized to the country saying that dhe would completely co-operate with the criminal investigation against her.
Park who was impeached March 10, told media in front of the prosecutors’ office that “I am sorry to the people. I will faithfully cooperate with questioning,”
This is the first time she is speaking publicly following her impeachment over a widening corruption investigation.
The ex-President was accused of colluding with a friend, Choi Soon-sil, to pressure big businesses to donate to two foundations that backed her policy initiatives.
Park has denied wrongdoing and has not been charged in the case. Choi has also denied wrongdoing.
However, Park lost her presidential immunity when she was dismissed and could face more than 10 years in jail if convicted of receiving bribes from bosses of big conglomerates, including Samsung Group chief Jay Y. Lee, in return for favors.
Park’s fate and the widening corruption investigation have gripped the country at a time of rising tension with North Korea and China.
Hundreds of Park’s flag-waving supporters gathered outside her home in Seoul’s upmarket Gangnam district to see her off.
Television cameras followed her as she was driven to the prosecutors’ office in a black sedan, a few minutes away from her home, escorted by police who cleared the road.
She became South Korea’s first democratically elected president to be removed from office when the Constitutional Court upheld her impeachment by parliament in December.
The ex-President, who was accompanied by two of her lawyers, was given tea in a 10th-floor break room before going in for her first session of questioning by two prosecutors and one investigation official, prosecutors said in a statement.
One her lawyers, Yoo Yeong-ha, is known as her “Bulletproof Vest” and has been her legal voice since the beginning of the scandal in October.
Park declined to have her questioning recorded by video camera, prosecutors said.
A prosecution official told reporters earlier the questioning was expected to go on late into the night.