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Ex-South Korean president Park Geun-hye arrested

Ousted South Korean President Park Geun-hye leaves after hearing on a prosecutors' request for her arrest for corruptionImage copyright AP
Image caption Ms Park took part in a marathon hearing on Thursday

Ousted South Korean President Park Geun-hye has been arrested over a corruption scandal that led to her dismissal, officials say.

The former president is accused of allowing her close friend Choi Soon-sil to extort money from companies in return for political favours.

Ms Park, who was removed from office earlier this month, denies the claims.

She is the third former president of South Korea to be arrested over criminal allegations, Yonhap reports.

The Seoul Central District Court earlier issued a warrant to detain Ms Park on charges of bribery, abuse of authority, coercion and leaking government secrets, after a nearly nine-hour court hearing on Thursday.

Ms Park lost her presidential immunity and was dismissed from her post when the constitutional court upheld a decision by parliament in December to impeach her.

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Ms Choi is accused of using her presidential connections to pressure companies to give millions of dollars in donations to non-profit foundations she controlled.

Ms Park is alleged to have been personally involved in this, and to have given Ms Choi unacceptable levels of access to official documents.

Judges had said the former president had broken the law by allowing Ms Choi to meddle in state affairs, and had breached guidelines on official secrets by leaking numerous documents.

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