South Korea president's lawyers say no grounds for impeachment

2016-12-17 07:21
South Korea's President Park Geun-hye delivers a speech to the AU in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. (Mulugeta Ayene, AP)

South Korea's President Park Geun-hye delivers a speech to the AU in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. (Mulugeta Ayene, AP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Seoul - The impeachment of South Korean President Park Geun-Hye has no legal foundation, her lawyers argued on Friday, as they submitted their defence against her ouster to the country's highest court.

Parliament voted to impeach Park last week over a corruption scandal in which she allegedly colluded with a friend to strong-arm donations from large conglomerates to two dubious foundations.

The case is now being considered by the Constitutional Court which has 180 days to rule on the validity of the impeachment that charged Park with multiple criminal and constitutional violations - ranging from bribery to abuse of power.

Palace raids

Submitting a 24-page rebuttal to the court, one of Park's lawyers, Lee Joong-Hwan, said the charges lacked any evidential grounds.

"We can't accept that there was any violation of the constitution by the president... the impeachment motion should be rejected," Lee told reporters.

Park has formally been identified as a suspect in what is an ongoing criminal investigation - a first for a sitting South Korean president.

She is accused of ordering aides to leak confidential state documents to her friend, Choi Soon-Sil, who has no official title or security clearance, and allowing her to meddle in some state affairs, including the appointment of top officials.

Park faces the looming prospect of having her presidential palace raided by prosecutors, despite the objections of her aides.

"We came to believe that it is necessary to raid certain parts of the (presidential) Blue House," Lee Kyu-Chul, a spokesperson for the team of independent prosecutors on the case, said on Friday.

Ferry investigation

The team - appointed by lawmakers - has recently taken over investigations by government prosecutors who had sought to raid Park's office in October but were turned away at the gate.

Park's office has objected to any raid on the Blue House, citing a criminal code that bans any such action on state facilities deemed to be militarily important.

Park also faces growing pressure to explain what she was doing on the day of the Sewol ferry disaster that killed 300 people in 2014.

The impeachment motion accused her of failing to protect the lives of South Korean citizens.

Testimony by several ex-presidential aides to a parliamentary investigative committee suggested Park had stayed in her residence after being informed of the unfolding crisis involving the sinking ferry.

Following media reports that she spent the first critical hours having her hair styled, a group of Seoul lawmakers visited the Blue House on Friday as part of their committee's probe.

"We will meet with the stylists handling Park's hair and makeup in the Blue House to investigate how much time she spent on hair and makeup on the fateful day," one lawmaker said before entering the complex.

Read more on:    park geun-hye  |  south korea  |  politics

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Inside News24

 
/News
 

Man scores date with tennis superstar after Twitter bet

It’s a modern day Cinderella story, but one American man took ‘shoot your shot’ seriously in 2017.

 
 

You won't want to miss...

Who are the highest paid models of 2017?
10 gorgeous plus-sized models who aren't Ashley Graham
5 top leg exercises for men
10 best dressed men of 2017
Traffic Alerts
Traffic
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.