Asia

S. Korea court says Park won't testify in impeachment trial

  • Former presidential secretary Ahn Jong-beom, center, arrives at the office of the independent counsel in Seoul, South Korea, Friday, Dec. 30, 2016. State prosecutors have now passed the investigation to a special prosecution team, which on Friday summoned Ahn for the second time this week as they focus on proving bribery suspicions between President Park Geun-hye and the Samsung Group. Ahn, Park's former senior secretary for policy coordination, allegedly directed former Health Minister Moon Hyung-pyo to pressure the National Pension Service to support a merger between two Samsung affiliates last year. (AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon)

    Former presidential secretary Ahn Jong-beom, center, arrives at the office of the independent counsel in Seoul, South Korea, Friday, Dec. 30, 2016. State prosecutors have now passed the investigation to a special prosecution team, which on Friday summoned Ahn for the second time this week as they focus on proving bribery suspicions between President Park Geun-hye and the Samsung Group. Ahn, Park's former senior secretary for policy coordination, allegedly directed former Health Minister Moon Hyung-pyo to pressure the National Pension Service to support a merger between two Samsung affiliates last year. (AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon)  (The Associated Press)

  • South Korea's Constitutional Court holds a preparatory meeting to review the impeachment of President Park Geun-hye on corruption charges centered on an influence-peddling scandal involving a confidante in Seoul, South Korea, Friday, Dec. 30, The court on Friday said it cannot require Park to testify in her impeachment trial that enters the argument phase next week, dismissing demands by lawmakers who voted to remove her over a corruption scandal. (Yonhap via AP)

    South Korea's Constitutional Court holds a preparatory meeting to review the impeachment of President Park Geun-hye on corruption charges centered on an influence-peddling scandal involving a confidante in Seoul, South Korea, Friday, Dec. 30, The court on Friday said it cannot require Park to testify in her impeachment trial that enters the argument phase next week, dismissing demands by lawmakers who voted to remove her over a corruption scandal. (Yonhap via AP)  (The Associated Press)

South Korea's Constitutional Court says it cannot require President Park Geun-hye to testify in her impeachment trial that enters the argument phase next week, dismissing demands by lawmakers who voted to remove her over a corruption scandal.

The nine-justice court on Friday confirmed the dates of some of the witness testimonies. It delayed to decide whether to accept a request by Park's lawyers to receive reports from companies answering whether they were really forced into sponsoring foundations controlled by the president's jailed friend, Choi Soon-sil.

Lawmakers argued the request shouldn't be made because it could pressure companies.

Park has been accused by state prosecutors of colluding with Choi to extort money and favors from the country's largest companies and allow her friend to interfere with government affairs.