Two former associates of President Park Geun-hye have been arrested as part of a probe into a corruption case, AFP reported on Sunday. The South Korean president's former senior secretary for policy Ahn Jong-beom and private secretary Jung Ho-sung have been charged with fraud and abuse of power.
Thousands of South Koreans participated in a rally demanding the president's resignation. While Park made a public apology after reports of leaked official documents to a family friend emerged, she has refused to step down from her position, BBC reported. Park apologised for her "error" of allowing her friend Choi Soon-sil access to official policy-making process. She denied accusations that Choi, the daughter of a cult leader who was a close associate of Park's father and former president Park Chung-hee, was allowed to perform "cultish rituals" within the president palace.
On November 2, Park sacked Prime Minister Hwang Kyo-ahn and two other cabinet ministers in a bid to address accusations about corruption within her government.
Apart from being involved in state affairs without holding a government post, Choi is also accused of using her influence to extort $69 million (Rs 460 crore approximately) from top corporate houses as donations for her two foundations, reported The New York Times. Prosecutors also conducted raids at eight banks to collect information on the financial transactions with which Choi, referred to as the "shadow president", was involved. Choi is currently in detention, BBC reported.