The Latest: Park denies corruption charges during trial

AP News
|
Posted: May 22, 2017 11:12 PM
The Latest: Park denies corruption charges during trial

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — The Latest on the bribery trial of former South Korean President Park Geun-hye (all times local):

11:50 a.m.

South Korea's disgraced ex-President Park Geun-hye has denied all the corruption charges at the start of a high-profile criminal trial that is expected to take several months.

Park told the judge during Tuesday's trial that she has "the same position" as her lawyers, who have argued Park hasn't committed any legal wrongdoing.

One of the key charges is extortion. Prosecutors indicted Park for allegedly pressing big companies into donating tens of millions of dollars for the launches of two non-profit foundations controlled by her friend.

One of Park's lawyers, Yoo Young-ha, told the trial that there was "no monetary gains" Park could have personally earned from the foundations as no individual could freely take funds from the organizations.

__

10:00 a.m.

A South Korean court has begun the criminal trial in which disgraced ex-President Park Geun-hye is being prosecuted on bribery and other charges.

Yonhap news agency reported the Seoul Central District Court began Park's trial on Tuesday. Other South Korean media carried a similar report.

Park has been charged with extortion, bribery and abuse of power, all in collaboration with longtime confidante Choi Soon-sil.

Earlier TV footage showed both women entering a packed courtroom amid camera flashes.

__

8:30 a.m.

Former South Korean President Park Geun-hye has entered the Seoul court for the opening of her corruption trial.

The hearing at the Seoul Central District Court is Park's first public appearance since she was jailed March 31. She walked with her eyes downcast after emerging from a bus in handcuffs and was escorted into the courtroom by police.

She has been charged with extortion, bribery and abuse of power and could be imprisoned for life if convicted.

Park was removed from office in March by the Constitutional Court, which upheld the December impeachment by lawmakers after massive street protests over the corruption allegations began last October.