South Korean Court to Rule Friday on Park Impeachment

Cheryl Sanders
March 8, 2017

The Constitutional Court has set a date to deliver the verdict on the impeachment motion against President Park Geun-hye.

A presidential election must be held in 60 days if the impeachment is upheld. The scandal resulted in Park's impeachment in December 2016 by the South Korean parliament.

Park's office had no comment after the court's announcement Wednesday of when it would rule. If more than three judges reject the bill, Park will be reinstated immediately.

Choi is accused of using her presidential ties to force local firms to "donate" almost $70 million to non-profit foundations she then allegedly used for personal gain.

Park is the second South Korean president to be impeached. He didn't provide any legal basis on how the motion could be dismissed by the court.

Park's powers were suspended after she was impeached by parliament, and Prime Minister Hwang Kyo-ahn became government caretaker.

The main allegation is that she colluded with her longtime friend Choi Soon-sil to extort South Korean conglomerates to donate $70 million to two dubious foundations in exchange for favorable treatment.

A number of former presidential aides and cabinet members have been arrested and charged with abuse of power or leaking secret state documents to Choi at Park's order.

Park has denied prosecutors' requests for interviews and a search of her presidential office. If the court rules to remove Park, she will be stripped of her powers and lose her immunity from prosecution, making it possible for prosecutors to indict her on criminal charges.

Thousands of her supporters have protested in Seoul and in front of the Constitutional Court in recent weeks, hurling personal threat against judges and vowing a "civil war" if she is sacked.

Other reports by iNewsToday