SEOUL (Alliance News) – The first open hearing in the impeachment trial of South Korean President Park Geun Hye took place on Tuesday, without the scandal-hit leader in attendance, the Yonhap News Agency reported.
As widely expected, Park did not attend the hearing at the Constitutional Court in Seoul, which Yonhap said was adjourned after just nine minutes.
Following Park’s impeachment in December, the court is reviewing allegations against her of corruption, abuse of power and violating constitutional duties in a scandal involving her long-time confidante, Choi Soon Sil.
Choi was allegedly able to influence government despite holding no official position and is thought to have used her ties to Park to secure business and personal favours.
Park denies all the allegations against her.
“We will do our best to conduct a strict and fair review of the impeachment case,” Court President Park Han-chul was cited by the agency as saying.
The court is set to reconvene on Thursday. The court president said the trial will proceed through a proxy if President Park Geun Hye again fails to attend.
The nine-judge court must decide whether to affirm parliament’s vote on December 9 to impeach Park over a corruption scandal which has brought hundreds of thousands of protesters onto the streets every week.