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Iran Press TV

South Korean president Park's impeachment was illegal: Lawyers

Iran Press TV

Fri Dec 16, 2016 10:46AM

Lawyers for South Korea's suspended president Park Geun-hye say a parliament vote to impeach her has no legal foundation and the country's constitutional court should restore her powers.

The South Korean parliament voted last week by a 234-56 margin to impeach Park over a scandal involving her long-time confidante, Choi Soon-sil, who is currently awaiting prosecution for fraud.

Prosecutors had said the president colluded with Choi in coercing large corporations into paying tens of millions of dollars in "donations" to organizations under Choi's control, an accusation Park's lawyers previously denied.

The constitutional court now has six months to rule on the validity of the parliament's impeachment vote.

Park's lawyers, however, submitted a 24-page rebuttal to the court, saying the allegations "of her law violations aren't backed by evidence."

"We can't accept that there was any violation of the constitution by the president… The impeachment motion should be rejected," said one of her lawyers, Lee Joong-hwan, on Friday.

The lawyers said that it was unlikely that the president would appear before the court. Park said last week that she would respond "calmly" to the result of the impeachment process and would wait for the constitutional court's verdict.

If six of the court's nine justices support the impeachment vote, Park would be removed permanently and a new presidential election would be held within 60 days. If not, her powers would be restored.

She has currently been stripped of her presidential powers but keeps her title and her official residence. Her Prime Minster Hwang Kyo-ahno assumed presidential authority late on Friday and became acting president.

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