Asia

South Korean president's confidante snubs impeachment trial

A supporter of disgraced South Korean President Park Geun-hye stands to oppose her impeachment in front of the Constitutional Court in Seoul, South Korea, Tuesday, Jan. 10, 2017. Park's longtime friend at the center of a massive corruption scandal refused to testify at Park's impeachment trial on Tuesday. The sign held by the supporter reads: "Nullity of impeachment." (AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon)

A supporter of disgraced South Korean President Park Geun-hye stands to oppose her impeachment in front of the Constitutional Court in Seoul, South Korea, Tuesday, Jan. 10, 2017. Park's longtime friend at the center of a massive corruption scandal refused to testify at Park's impeachment trial on Tuesday. The sign held by the supporter reads: "Nullity of impeachment." (AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon)  (The Associated Press)

Disgraced South Korean President Park Geun-hye's longtime friend at the center of a massive corruption scandal has refused to testify at Park's impeachment trial.

The Constitutional Court on Tuesday had expected to hear from Choi (pronounced Chwey) Soon-sil, a confidante of Park who's currently jailed and on trial herself for allegedly using her connections with the president to extort money and favors from companies and unlawfully interfere with government affairs. But Choi submitted documents to the court saying she was unable to testify.

Two jailed former presidential aides who purportedly helped Choi also refused to testify, saying they needed to prepare for their own trials.

Park's powers have been suspended since Dec. 9, when South Korea's opposition-controlled parliament voted to impeach her.