29 May 2009

Funeral for former South Korean president

8:15 pm on 29 May 2009

Tens of thousands of South Koreans have turned out in Seoul for the funeral of former President Roh Moo-hyun, who died last week.

The ceremony was attended by 3000 people including the Prime Minister and other top officials, while crowds filled nearby streets.

Mr Roh dedicated himself to democracy and he would not be forgotten, PM Han Seung-soo said in a eulogy.

Roh Moo-hyun, 62, jumped off a cliff last Saturday amid allegations, which he denied, of bribery. His death has caused immense shock in South Korea.

Some supporters say Mr Roh was investigated for political reasons. Authorities fear they may protest and some 15,000 riot police are on stand-by in case of disturbances.

There has been a mass outpouring of grief for Mr Roh, 62, who left office widely regarded by the public as an ineffective president.

Tens of thousands of riot police have been mobilised to head off any protests against the current government of Lee Myung-bak.