Park Geun-Hye South Korean lawmaker says president violated "people’s basic rights"

The president again failed to appear at her trial at the Constitutional Court in Seoul, according to agency report.

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South Korea's Parliament voted on December 9, 2016 to impeach President Park Geun-Hye over a corruption scandal play

South Korea's Parliament voted on December 9, 2016 to impeach President Park Geun-Hye over a corruption scandal

(POOL/AFP/File)
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A South Korean lawmaker accused President Park Guen Hye of violating“people’s basic rights’’ on the first day of oral arguments in the leader’s impeachment trial on Thursday, local media reported.

Park, who is accused of corruption, abuse of power and violating constitutional duties, again failed to appear at her trial at the Constitutional Court in Seoul, according to agency report.

She was also absent at the opening of proceedings on Tuesday though her attendance is not mandatory.

Kwon Seong-dong chairman of the parliamentary legislation and judiciary committee told the judges Park had given confidential documents to her close friend Choi Soon Sil, and extorted large amounts of money from South Korean companies to help Choi.

“This amounts to abusing one’s position to violate the people’s basic rights and warrants losing one’s authority to oversee state affairs.

“Dismissing the president is aimed not only at recovering the national loss and vacuum in the running of state affairs but at restoring the constitutional order,’’ he said.

South Korean lawmakers voted overwhelmingly to impeach Park, South Korea’s first female president last month following weeks of protests which saw hundreds of thousands of people taking to the streets.

Park has repeatedly apologised over the scandal but denied committing any criminal offence.

Her lawyer denied that she had pressured Samsung to make sizable donations to foundations run by Choi in return for her support of a merger between two of the electronics giant’s affiliates.

Choi appeared at the Seoul Central District Court, pleading not guilty to a string of charges including abuse of power and attempted fraud.

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