Tags: AS | SKorea | Parks Trial
Ex-SKorean President Park Arrives for Start of Bribery Trial
(AP)

Ex-SKorean President Park Arrives for Start of Bribery Trial

Monday, 22 May 2017 09:38 PM

In handcuffs and her eyes downcast, former South Korean President Park Geun-hye entered a Seoul courtroom Monday morning for the beginning of a corruption trial that could send her to prison for life if she is convicted.

The hearing at the Seoul Central District Court is Park's first public appearance since she was jailed March 31. She emerged from a bus in handcuffs, her inmate number 503 attached to her clothing, and was escorted into the courtroom by police. She ignored a large crowd of journalists recording her entrance.

Park has been charged with extortion, bribery and abuse of power. Her arrest came weeks after she was removed from office in a ruling by the Constitutional Court, which upheld the December impeachment by lawmakers after massive street protests over the corruption allegations began last October.

Prosecutors boast of having "overflowing" evidence proving her involvement in criminal activities. They accuse Park, South Korea's first female president, of colluding with a friend of 40 years to take about $26 million from the country's largest companies through bribery. She also allegedly allowed her friend to manipulate state affairs from the shadows.

The scandal has led to the indictments of dozens of people, including former Cabinet ministers, senior presidential aides and billionaire Samsung scion Lee Jae-yong, who is accused of bribing Park and her friend, Choi Soon-sil, in exchange for business favors.

Park has apologized for putting trust in Choi but denied breaking any laws and accuses her opponents of framing her. Choi also denies wrongdoing.

She is expected join the former president in court on Tuesday, and judge Kim Se-yoon is expected to decide whether to try them together or to split Park's and Choi's cases. Park's lawyers have alleged the combined hearings could create bias.

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In handcuffs and her eyes downcast, former South Korean President Park Geun-hye entered a Seoul courtroom Monday morning for the beginning of a corruption trial that could send her to prison for life if she is convicted.The hearing at the Seoul Central District Court is...
AS, SKorea, Parks Trial
293
2017-38-22
Monday, 22 May 2017 09:38 PM
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