South Korea's ousted leader Park Geun-hye arrested

Ousted South Korean President Park Geun-hye has been arrested and taken into custody over a corruption scandal that led to her dismissal.

In a statement on Friday, the Democratic Party of Korea said everyone is equal in the eyes of the law, and considering that the former president was the key person in the massive power abuse and corruption scandal, . and how the investigation has gone so far, . the arrest was the right decision.

Ousted South Korean President Park Geun-hye, left, gets off a vehicle upon arrival at the Seoul Central District Court for hearing on a prosecutors' request for her arrest for corruption, in Seoul, South Korea, Thursday, March 30, 2017.

The 65-year-old appeared expressionless as she arrived at the Seoul Central District Court at 10:20 a.m. (0120 GMT) to plead her case that she should not be arrested while prosecutors investigate the scandal that has ensnared South Korea's political and business elite.

"The court recognizes the need, necessity and reasonableness of the suspect's arrest", CNN quoted Judge Kang Bu-young as saying in a text message to reporters. Park's administration has also allegedly pressured local art show organizers to remove a mural satirically depicting the former president.

Looking strained, Ms Park was whisked to the jail in a black sedan, where she was greeted by a small group of supporters shouting for her release and waving the national flag.

A comic parody of Park on Saturday Night Live Korea, broadcast back in 2012 on one of CJ's cable networks, has been cited by prosecutors on Wednesday as one of the reasons the company provoked her wrath.

Choi Soon-Sil, Park's secret confidante at the heart of the scandal, is being held at the same centre, as is Samsung heir Lee Jae-Yong.

Park could become South Korea's third former leader to be jailed for wrongdoing.

The December 2015 agreement saw Park and Abe clinch a "final and irreversible" deal to settle the thorny issue, with Tokyo offering ¥1 billion ($8.7 million at today's exchange rate) to help Seoul set up a foundation for the surviving 46 former comfort women in South Korea. The prosecution said it will not question Park Friday, her first day of detention, and speculation is high that the grilling will begin next week.

Prosecutors are expected to bring multiple charges including extortion, bribery and abuse of power.

If convicted, Park could face between 10 years and life in prison, but her successor has the power to pardon her. Park has said she only let Choi edit some of her presidential speeches and got her help on "public relations" issues.

While in office, Park took a tough approach to nuclear-armed North Korea, repeatedly calling for stronger worldwide sanctions against the regime and openly urging more of its citizens to defect to the South, and Pyongyang's official organs were relatively quick to report her arrest.

  • Leroy Wright