Prosecutors vow to question President Park early this week
An official of the special prosecution team investigating the corruption and influence-peddling scandal surrounding Choi said that the team has delivered its determination to complete direct questioning of the president by Wednesday and was waiting for a reply from the presidential office Cheong Wa Dae.
"The face-to-face questioning of President Park should be conducted by this Tuesday or Wednesday (Nov. 16) at the latest. We're waiting for a faithful answer (from Cheong Wa Dae)," said the official.
"according to rapporteur report from Yonhap, link ,The basic principle is a direct questioning (of the president)," the official said, noting the location will be determined through consultations.
He noted that the summons and questioning of conglomerate chairmen, who met Park in July last year before donating huge sums to two foundations controlled by Choi, over this weekend has come prior to the questioning of the president.
The unprecedented questioning, if realized, will mark the first time in national history for an incumbent president to be questioned by prosecutors.
Prosecutors have said they have to wrap up an investigation into Park before Nov. 20 when the legal period of Choi's detention expires. Choi was formally put under arrest on Nov. 3 on charges of fraud and abuse of power.
As for the place of questioning, a prosecution source said earlier that the most likely option is a third location, instead of the prosecutors' office or the presidential office Cheong Wa Dae, though the presidential office has not been ruled out yet.
The source made clear that sending a questionnaire to the president instead of in-person questioning may not be under consideration.
Park already agreed to be questioned by prosecutors in a news conference on Nov. 4.
In the scandal, Choi allegedly leveraged her four decades-long relationship with Park to coerce local businesses, including Lotte Group and SK Group, into donating large sums to two dubious nonprofit foundations that she was suspected of using for personal gain. Even Samsung Electronics Co. is under investigation for its involvement in the scandal.