A friend of President of South Korean Park Geun-hye became the subject of a corruption scandal that led to the sacking of the state leader, denied the allegations of fraud and abuse of power on Monday, during the first day of trial, according to south Korean media, reports Reuters.
The state leader’s close friend Choi Soon-sil, 60, was accused by numerous companies that they were pressured to pay substantial amounts of money to the foundations that supported Park’s policy initiatives.
The prosecutors labeled Park as an accomplice, although she has diplomatic immunity.
Park’s duties were suspended after a vote conducted by the South Korean parliament on 9 December. The Constitutional Court has up to 180 days to maintain or revoke the decision.
Choi denied all the accusations against her and declared that she did not conspired with Park, Yonhap news agency reported. She also said that she does not agree to have a jury in the court.
Normally, South Korean courts take criminal proceedings accompanied by a team of judges, to establish the verdict and the sentence, while the defendants in some cases may choose a ‘jury-free’ trial.
Choi, who has not appeared in public since the arrival of the prosecutors in her office on October 31, was led into court by two correctional officers, she was wearing a gray prison uniform with a number on her chest.
She was represented by a team of lawyers, including attorney Lee Kyung-jae, who told Reuters last week that the charges against her are ‘pure fiction’.