April 17, 2017 4:49 pm JST

South Korea prosecutors charge ousted leader Park and Lotte chief with bribery

Ousted South Korean President Park Geun-hye © Reuters

SEOUL (Reuters) -- South Korean prosecutors on Monday charged ousted president Park Geun-hye and Lotte Group chairman Shin Dong-bin with bribery in the latest twist to a corruption scandal that rocked the country for months.

Prosecutors charged Shin without detaining him.

The probe by prosecutors has already convulsed the biggest conglomerate, Samsung Group, with its chief Jay Y. Lee under arrest for bribing Park and her friend, Choi Soon-sil. All three are being held at detention centres.

Prosecutors accused Park of colluding with Choi to receive 7 billion won ($6.16 million) from Lotte for favours, they said in a statement. Park was also charged with abuse of power and coercion by pressuring big businesses to contribute funds to non-profit foundations, the prosecutors said.

Lotte has denied allegations that it made improper deals with Park, or those linked to her, for favours. Park, Lee, Choi and Samsung Group have also denied wrongdoing.

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