Court removes South Korean president from office over corruption scandal

11 March, 2017, 00:23 | Author: Garry Little
  • S. Korea court to rule on President Park impeachment Friday

She is the country's first democratically elected leader to be forced from office.

The widespread corruption scandal has spread also to South Korea's most well-known firm, tech giant Samsung Electronics. The reason judges made what should have been a decision by lawmakers was because no agreement could be reached on whether the president should stand down, even though opinion polls indicated 70 per cent of citizens wanted her out. "We hope the conservatives (who support Park) will accept it and move forward".

The decision to uphold the impeachment of a President is a first in South Korea's history. "The last one I saw - 78 percent of South Koreans wanted to see her jailed", he told RT.

Following the verdict Park's spokesman said she would not leave the presidential Blue House residence today.

Protesters gathered and occupy major streets in the city center for a rally against Park Geun-Hye. A good part of these amounts, according to the accusation, ended up in the pocket of the businesswoman. Choi is being tried for abuse of power and fraud. Park has repeatedly refused to be interviewed by prosecutors over the scandal in recent months, but that will be harder to do if prosecutors have an arrest warrant.

In a historic, unanimous ruling Friday, the court formally removed the impeached president from office.

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Following a December 9 parliamentary vote to impeach her, Park has been suspended but conservative supporters have led increasingly prominent counter-protests. Park would then be subject to indictment and detention as she loses the immunities as head of state.

Park has been pulled down from the highest position in the land months before her term was to end next February.

According to the Korea Times, Choi founded the Church of Eternal Life in the 1970s, mixing aspects of Christianity, Buddhism and Cheondoism, a region of Korea that incorporates elements of shamanism. She first moved in at the age of 9 and left it almost two decades later after her mother and father were assassinated.

It was subsequently reported that this woman, Choi Soon-sil, had access to secret government files and had influenced Park.

29 Nov, 2016: In her third televised apology, Ms Park asks Parliament to decide how and when she can give up power over the scandal. Lee's trial for bribery and embezzlement began on Thursday, in a court case being billed as the trial of the century. They include closing down South Korean businesses in China and discouraging Chinese tourists form visiting South Korea.

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