Park Geun-Hye . PHOTO: AHN Young-Joon / POOL / AFP
Hundreds of demonstrators on Saturday called for the immediate release of South Korea’s ousted president Park Geun-Hye whose corruption trial has been put on hold following mass resignations by her lawyers.
Park’s trial was put on hold Thursday after her lawyers resigned in protest over what they called biased proceedings following a court decision to extend her detention warrant for another six months.
Park condemned the trial as “political revenge” in her first public statement since she was arrested, while her lawyers protested over the extension of the warrant, saying that the principle of the presumption of innocence was “collapsing”.
A crowd of some 1,000 pro-Park protesters marched through Seoul for more than an hour, chanting slogans and waving South Korean and US flags.
“Release President Park Geun-Hye immediately”, they chanted.
The sprawling scandal involving the 65-year-old former leader and her powerful secret confidante, Choi Soon-Sil, unleashed massive nationwide protests last year, culminating in her impeachment in March.
Park — who faces multiple charges including bribery, coercion and abuse of power for offering governmental favours to business tycoons who helped enrich Choi — refused to appear in court on Thursday, citing her allegedly poor health.
The court has been adjourned to an unspecified date till it appoints state attorneys to replace the lawyers who have stepped down.