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3 Previous South Korean Presidents Also Faced Legal Proceedings

  • Reuters

South Korea's ousted leader Park Geun-hye, right, arrives at a prosecutor's office in Seoul, South Korea, March 21, 2017.

South Korean prosecutors began questioning ousted president Park Geun-hye on Tuesday as a criminal suspect in a widening corruption investigation.
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Park, 65, became South Korea's first democratically elected president to be removed from office this month when the Constitutional Court upheld her impeachment by parliament. She has not been charged but prosecutors have accused her of bribery and abuse of power. She has denied wrongdoing. Below are some details of previous presidents who faced legal proceedings:

CHUN DOO-HWAN

FILE - Former South Korean president Chun Doo-hwan, right, waves goodbye as he is escorted by a secret service agent outside the walls of Anyang Prison to a waiting car shortly after being released from the jail on a special pardon in Anyang, Dec. 22, 199
FILE - Former South Korean president Chun Doo-hwan, right, waves goodbye as he is escorted by a secret service agent outside the walls of Anyang Prison to a waiting car shortly after being released from the jail on a special pardon in Anyang, Dec. 22, 199

Chun Doo-hwan was president from 1980 to 1988. In 1995, he was accused of mutiny, treason and bribery, but he refused to appear at the prosecutors’ office and instead traveled to his hometown. Then-President Kim Young-sam ordered his arrest and Chun was detained on Dec. 3, 1995. He was found guilty of mutiny, treason and corruption in August 1996. He was originally sentenced to death but was released, having spent just over two years at the Anyang Correctional Institution, near Seoul, in 1997 in a bid by Kim to promote "national harmony."

ROH TAE-WOO

FILE - A smiling former South Korean President Roh Tae-woo, with his wife Kim Ok-sook standing beside him, waves to his supporters and neighbors upon arrivial at his home after he was released from the Seoul prison in a vspecial amnesty, Dec. 22, 1997.
FILE - A smiling former South Korean President Roh Tae-woo, with his wife Kim Ok-sook standing beside him, waves to his supporters and neighbors upon arrivial at his home after he was released from the Seoul prison in a vspecial amnesty, Dec. 22, 1997.

Roh Tae-woo was president from 1988 to 1993. In 1995, he was accused of taking bribes from top businessmen during his term as president. He was convicted of treason, mutiny and corruption and sentenced to 22 and a half years in prison. A court of appeal reduced that to 17 years. He served just over two years in prison before being released by Kim in 1997, again to promote national harmony.

ROH MOO-HYUN

FILE - Family members of former South Korean president Roh Moo-hyun bow for Roh in a funeral service at the Gyeongbok Palace near the presidential Blue House in Seoul, May 29, 2009.
FILE - Family members of former South Korean president Roh Moo-hyun bow for Roh in a funeral service at the Gyeongbok Palace near the presidential Blue House in Seoul, May 29, 2009.

Roh Moo-hyun was president from 2003 to 2008. Prosecutors suspected him of involvement in a bribery scandal and he appeared for questioning on April 30, 2009. On May 23 the same year, Roh jumped to his death from a cliff near his home.

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