Asia

South Korea indicts ex-presidential aide in scandal probe

  • Protesters march toward the presidential house during a rally against impeached President Park Geun-hye in Seoul, South Korea, Saturday, Dec. 10, 2016. The vote for impeachment left protesters basking in pride, believing they had repaired a damaged democracy with their weekly demonstrations. (AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon)

    Protesters march toward the presidential house during a rally against impeached President Park Geun-hye in Seoul, South Korea, Saturday, Dec. 10, 2016. The vote for impeachment left protesters basking in pride, believing they had repaired a damaged democracy with their weekly demonstrations. (AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon)  (The Associated Press)

  • Protesters holding signs that read "Arrest Park Geun-hye" shout slogans as they march toward the presidential Blue House after a rally calling for South Korean President Park Geun-hye to step down in Seoul Saturday, Dec. 10, 2016. Shifting from protests to celebration, large crowds of South Koreans were expected to march near the presidential house on Saturday to cheer the impeachment of disgraced president over an explosive corruption scandal. (AP Photo/Lee Jin-man)

    Protesters holding signs that read "Arrest Park Geun-hye" shout slogans as they march toward the presidential Blue House after a rally calling for South Korean President Park Geun-hye to step down in Seoul Saturday, Dec. 10, 2016. Shifting from protests to celebration, large crowds of South Koreans were expected to march near the presidential house on Saturday to cheer the impeachment of disgraced president over an explosive corruption scandal. (AP Photo/Lee Jin-man)  (The Associated Press)

  • Protesters carry an effigy of impeached South Korean President Park Geun-hye as they march toward the presidential house during a rally in Seoul Saturday, Dec. 10, 2016. Shifting from protests to celebration, large crowds of South Koreans were expected to march near the presidential house on Saturday to cheer the impeachment of disgraced president over an explosive corruption scandal. The sign read "Impeach Park Geun-hye immediately." (AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon)

    Protesters carry an effigy of impeached South Korean President Park Geun-hye as they march toward the presidential house during a rally in Seoul Saturday, Dec. 10, 2016. Shifting from protests to celebration, large crowds of South Koreans were expected to march near the presidential house on Saturday to cheer the impeachment of disgraced president over an explosive corruption scandal. The sign read "Impeach Park Geun-hye immediately." (AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon)  (The Associated Press)

South Korean prosecutors said Sunday that they have indicted a former senior aide to impeached President Park Geun-hye in their investigation into the massive political scandal that led to Park's downfall, local media reported.

Prosecutors in Seoul indicted Cho Won-dong, a former senior presidential secretary for economic affairs, for allegedly working with Park in an unsuccessful attempt to force the vice chairman of a Seoul-based conglomerate to quit, Yonhap news agency reported.

The opposition-controlled parliament passed an impeachment motion against Park on Friday, stripping her of her presidential duties and pushing Prime Minster Hwang Kyo-ahn into the role as government caretaker until the Constitutional Court rules whether she must step down permanently.

The impeachment came after millions of people demonstrated for weeks demanding the removal of Park, who prosecutors accuse of colluding with a longtime friend to extort money and favors from South Korea's biggest companies and to give that confidante extraordinary sway over government decisions. Park has apologized for putting trust into her friend, Choi Soon-sil, but has denied any legal wrongdoing.

Prosecutors also said Sunday that they have indicted Kim Chong, a former vice culture minister, on charges of colluding with Choi and her niece to force companies to donate large sums of money to a sports foundation established by the niece, Yonhap reported.

Prosecutors were not immediately available for comment.