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South Korea president to be investigated after 3 indicted in corruption scandal

[JURIST] South Korean prosecutors said Sunday that President Park Geun-hye [Britannica profile] will be investigated "as a suspect" in a political corruption scandal, after three individuals with ties to Park were indicted on corruption charges. The three individuals were Choi Soon-sil, a friend of Park's, and two of Park's former aides, An Chong-bum and Chung Ho-sung. Choi and An are being charged with abuse of power, fraud, and coercion, while Chung is charged with having leaked classified documents to Choi. Though Park may be implicated in this corruption scandal, she, as the sitting president, is unable to be formally charged [CNN report] under the South Korean constitution. One spokesperson for the Blue House said the investigation is riddled with "ignored fairness" and that any chance of Park's "right of getting a fair chance of due legal process [have] been taken away." News of the investigation into Park's potential involvement with the current corruption scandal is no surprise, as the Parliament of South Korea [official website] approved a measure on Thursday to appoint a special investigator to investigate the South Korean president.

The investigation into the president is the latest controversy affecting South Korean government officials. In October Park proposed [JURIST report] to amend the country's constitutional provision that limits presidents to one term in office. Currently, South Korean presidents can only have a single five-year term, and Park finishes her term in office in February 2018. The Korea Fair Trade Commission, South Korea's antitrust regulator, confirmed [JURIST report] in August that the country is investigating whether Google violated the country's antitrust laws. In Kyung-joon, a senior prosecutor in South Korea was indicted [JURIST report] in July on charges of bribery by accepting more than USD $11 million from an executive at the online-game company Nexon during collusive stock transactions over a nine-year period.

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