Impeached S. Korea president tells court of 'regret'

Park Geun-Hye was elected in 2012 with the highest vote share of any presidential candidate in South Korea's democratic era.

Impeached S. Korea president tells court of 'regret'

World Bulletin / News Desk

South Korea's president expressed "belated regret" Monday over the scandal that triggered her impeachment, as the Constitutional Court wrapped up hearings on her fate and her supporters screamed threats outside.

But she was impeached by parliament in December over a massive corruption and influence-peddling scandal that prompted millions to take to the streets to call for her ouster.

She has since been on trial for her political life at the Constitutional Court in Seoul, which is set to decide in March whether to approve her removal from office -- which would trigger new elections -- or return her to the Blue House.

Park has not attended any of the hearings, which began last month. 

Her lawyers maintain that she was not aware of any wrongdoing and blamed her secret confidante Choi Soon-Sil, who is accused of using her presidential ties to force local firms to "donate" nearly $70 million to non-profit foundations. 

In a statement read out by her advocate on Monday, Park reiterated that her only fault was trusting Choi and seeking advice from her longtime friend, who took care of her daily affairs for years, including her wardrobe choices.  

"In retrospect, I have belated regret that I should have been more cautious with my trust in her," she said in her final defence to the court's eight sitting judges.

Park bemoaned a "miserable reality" in which her policies and actions had become objects of "misunderstanding and suspicion".

But she has rejected repeated requests from the judges to make herself available for questioning, and has also refused to answer questions from prosecutors probing the scandal.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 27 Şubat 2017, 13:27