- Title: Friend of South Korean president appears at impeachment trial
- Date: 16th January 2017
- Summary: SEOUL, SOUTH KOREA (JANUARY 16, 2017) (REUTERS) ***WARNING CONTAINS FLASH PHOTOGRAPHY*** BUS CARRYING SOUTH KOREAN PRESIDENT PARK GEUN-HYE'S FRIEND, CHOI SOON-SIL, ARRIVING CHOI GETTING OFF PRISON BUS AND WALKING BEING ESCORTED BY POLICE OFFICER/ CHOI WALKING TOWARD COURT AND JOURNALISTS ASKING QUESTION JOURNALISTS STANDING IN FRONT OF COURT CHOI BEING ESCORTED BY POLICE OFFICER WALKING INTO COURT ROOM VARIOUS OF CHOI SEATED CONSTITUTIONAL COURT JUDGES WALKING INTO COURT ROOM SOUTH KOREAN CONSTITUTIONAL COURT'S CHIEF JUDGE, PARK HAN-CHUL (CENTRE), AND JUDGES SEATED PARK SPEAKING LEADER OF SAENURI LEGISLATORS ON THE PARLIAMENTARY IMPEACHMENT PROCEEDINGS COMMITTEE, KWON SUNG-DONG (FAR LEFT IN FIRST ROW), AND COMMITTEE MEMBERS SEATED LAWYER OF SOUTH KOREAN PRESIDENT PARK GEUN-HYE, LEE JOONG-HWAN (FAR RIGHT IN FIRST ROW), AND OTHER LAWYERS SEATED COURT HEARING IN PROGRESS EXTERIOR OF SOUTH KOREAN CONSTITUTIONAL COURT FLAG OF SOUTH KOREAN CONSTITUTIONAL COURT
- Embargoed: 30th January 2017 02:21
- Keywords: south korea choi soon-sil constitutional court impeachment trial president park geun-hye political scandal
- Location: SEOUL, SOUTH KOREA
- City: SEOUL, SOUTH KOREA
- Country: South Korea
- Reuters ID: LVA0015ZBXL51
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: Choi Soon-sil, the friend of South Korean President Park Geun-hye at the centre of a corruption scandal, appeared in Park's impeachment trial as a witness at the Constitutional Court on Monday (January 16).
President Park's powers have been suspended since December 9 when parliament voted to impeach her.
Park is accused of violating her constitutional duty by allowing Choi Soon-sil to wield undue influence over state affairs and colluding with her to pressure big businesses into making contributions to foundations and enterprises backed by Choi.
Choi is in custody as she undergoes criminal trial for abuse of power and fraud.
Prime Minister Hwang Kyo-ahn is serving as acting president while the Constitutional Court deliberates whether to uphold or overturn the impeachment.
The scandal has drawn hundreds of thousands of protesters onto the streets of Seoul for weekly demonstrations demanding that Park, 64, step down. If the Constitutional Court upholds parliament's decision, she will be the first democratically elected South Korean leader to leave office early.
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