S Korea’s president charged with accepting millions of dollars from spy agency

Vastavam web: Ousted South Korean president Park Geun-Hye is to be charged with accepting millions of dollars worth of bribes from the state spy agency, news reports said today.Park allegedly received between 50 and 200 million won (now USD 47,000 to USD 188,000) from the National Intelligence Service (NIS) every month from soon after her swearing-in in early 2013 until mid-2016, prosecutors told South Korean media.The money came from the spy agency’s “blind budget” — millions of dollars of special funds that can be spent without receipts for anti-espionage activities — Yonhap news agency said.

It remains unclear how Park spent the funds but news reports said she used them for personal purposes or to bankroll supporter groups.South Korea’s first female president was impeached by parliament after months of mass protests over a sprawling graft scandal, and the constitutional court upheld the decision in March last year, dismissing her from office.Her trial began in May but she has refused to attend since October, infuriated by a court decision to extend her detention by six months, when her legal team also quit, accusing the judges of bias.Park has since refused to cooperate with a team of state-sponsored defence lawyers appointed by the court.