SEOUL, Jan. 5 (Yonhap) -- South Korean President Park Geun-hye was again absent from her impeachment trial Thursday as the Constitutional Court proceeded to review the critical case.
Park, whose presidential powers have been suspended pending the court's decision, was asked to appear to give testimony after she failed to show up for the first formal hearing Tuesday. The law does not require her attendance and her lawyers have said she is unlikely to appear for future proceedings.
Confirming her absence, the nine-member bench proceeded to hear the oral arguments by Park's lawyers and the National Assembly that impeached her on Dec. 9 over an alleged corruption scandal involving her close friend.
Park had been named an accomplice by state prosecutors in the influence-peddling scandal centered on her friend Choi Soon-sil. Choi has been accused of abusing her ties to the president to extort large sums of money from conglomerates and gain other personal favors.
Park has insisted on her innocence, saying she carried out her presidential duties faithfully and that any wrongdoings that may have occurred were done without her knowledge. Choi too contested the charges leveled against her and argued that there was no conspiracy.
The court is scheduled to hear from four key witnesses later in the day, but their attendance remains unclear.
Lee Kyung-sik firstname.lastname@example.org
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