SEOUL (Reuters) - South Korea’s ousted president Park Geun-hye was arrested on Friday and sent to a detention centre where she will face further investigation by prosecutors over a corruption scandal on charges including bribery and abuse of power.
Park, 65, became the country’s first democratically elected leader to be ousted from office when the Constitutional Court upheld a parliamentary impeachment vote on March 10.
Following is a timeline of the main developments in the scandal and events in her life and political career.
1952: Park is born in Daegu, 280 km (170 miles) southeast of Seoul
1974: Park’s mother is killed by a bullet fired by a pro-North Korea assassin trying to kill her father, President Park Chung-hee. Park became acting first lady.
1979: Park’s father is assassinated by his disgruntled spy chief.
1998: Park returns to political life after years of seclusion. She becomes a member of parliament with a vow to save the country as it suffers through the Asian financial crisis.
2004: Park becomes leader of the main conservative party, which scores an upset victory in parliamentary elections.
2006: An assailant slashes Park’s cheek with a knife during an election rally.
Dec 2012: Park defeats liberal opponent Moon Jae-in to be elected president.
Feb 25, 2013: Park is sworn in as the first female president of South Korea, promising an era of hope.
April 16, 2014: The Sewol ferry sinks with the death of 304 people, most of them school children. The toll is attributed to the Park government’s failure to act quickly.
Oct 25, 2016: Park makes her first public apology for giving a friend, Choi Soon-sil, access to draft speeches during the first months of her presidency.
Oct 31, 2016: State prosecutors arrest Choi on suspicion of exerting inappropriate influence over state affairs.
Nov 4, 2016: Park makes her second televised apology, saying she would take responsibility if found guilty.
Nov 20, 2016: Prosecutors indict Choi on charges of abuse of power and attempted fraud.
Nov 29, 2016: In her third televised apology, Park asks parliament to decide how and when she could give up power because of the scandal.
Dec 9, 2016: Parliament votes to impeach Park. She is stripped of powers while awaiting a court decision on the vote. Prime Minister Hwang Kyo-ahn becomes acting president.
Jan 1, 2017: Park denies wrongdoing, calling accusations “fabrication and falsehood”.
Feb 17: Samsung Group chief Jay Y. Lee is arrested for his suspected role in the scandal.
Feb 28: Special prosecutor indicts Lee and other company executives for bribery and embezzlement.
March 6: The special prosecutor says Park colluded with Choi to take bribes from the Samsung Group, paving the way for her to be prosecuted if she is ousted from office.
March 9: Lee’s trial begins on charges of bribery and embezzlement. He was indicted on charges including pledging 43 billion won ($37.24 million) in payments to Choi.
March 10: Constitutional Court upholds parliament’s vote to impeach Park, removing her from office.
March 21: Park appears at prosecutors’ office as a suspect to answer questions over suspected bribery and abuse of power.
March 30: Park is arrested after a court approved a warrant and sent to a detention centre as prosecutors continue to investigate her.
Reporting by Ju-min Park; Editing by Robert Birsel and Paul Tait