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Impeached South Korea president spared court appearance

By AFP   |   30 December 2016   |   7:51 am

South Korea's President Park Geun-Hye.     AFP PHOTO / POOL / Lee Jae-Won

South Korea’s President Park Geun-Hye. AFP PHOTO / POOL / Lee Jae-Won

The court tasked with validating the impeachment of South Korean President Park Geun-Hye said Friday that she would not be required to appear for questioning.

But the Constitutional Court said Park’s close friend Choi Soon-Sil, the media-dubbed “Rasputin” at the centre of the corruption scandal that triggered the president’s downfall, must submit for questioning on January 10.

The National Assembly, which passed a motion to impeach Park earlier this month, had asked the court to summon Park and question her directly.

“The request … is rejected,” the court said.

The court has 180 days to consider parliament’s impeachment motion and its president Park Han-Chul said in a New Year message that it would seek to make a decision “at an early date”.

If the impeachment is confirmed, a presidential election will have to be held within 60 days.

Park is accused of colluding with Choi to strong-arm companies into handing over tens of millions of dollars to dubious foundations which Choi controlled.

Choi has been formally indicted on charges of abuse of power and extortion.




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