MOSCOW -- South Korea's Acting President and Prime Minister Hwang Kyo-ahn has refused to extend the probe into the "shadow adviser" allegations against suspended President Park Geun-hye, Hwang's spokesperson said Monday.
"Although it was a very difficult decision for the acting president to make, [he] has reached a conclusion that it would be desirable for the state prosecution to continue a probe in light of our efforts to stabilize state affairs, rather than extending the special probe," presidential press secretary Hong Kwon-heui said, as quoted by the Yonhap news agency.
The decision was taken over concerns that a continued probe could influence the country's upcoming presidential election in December.
The probe expires after Monday's final Constitutional Court hearing of the president's impeachment trial.
The parliament may now launch another probe by a special prosecutor's team. Alternatively, the case could be further handled by state prosecutors.
Park was impeached in December over corruption scandal involving her friend Choi Soon-sil who is on trial for alleged influence-peddling and meddling in state affairs. The Constitutional Court has to decide upon the validity of the impeachment and is expected to deliver a ruling by March 13.
If the impeachment is recognized valid, the presidential elections will be held within 60 days after the court's ruling.
Source: Philippines News Agency