President Park's Lawyers Deny Impeachment Charges
SEOUL, Dec. 16 (Yonhap) -- President Park Geun-hye's attorneys on Friday rebutted a series of charges cited in the parliamentary impeachment motion in a 24-page statement submitted to the Constitutional Court.
The court will determine whether to unseat the suspended president or reinstate her after a legal review for up to six months.
"There is no reason for impeachment and (the court) must reject (the parliament's decision to impeach Park)," Lee Joong-hwan, one of the president's attorneys, told reporters after submitting the statement as requested last week by the court.
"It is difficult to acknowledge (Park's alleged) constitutional violations, and there is no evidence for her legal offenses as well. Thus, we will fight over all the facts and legal matters," he said.'
Last Friday, the National Assembly voted to impeach the president over a corruption and influence-peddling scandal involving her and her longtime friend Choi Soon-sil.
The legislature has listed 13 charges -- five constitutional violations and eight legal offenses.
The charges include bribery and her alleged inaction during the deadly ferry disaster in 2014 that left more than 300 passengers, mostly young students, dead or missing.
Lee dismissed both charges.
"It (the ferry disaster) is an unfortunate accident. However, the president is not directly responsible for it, and it is difficult to say that the president had infringed upon their rights to life," Lee claimed.
Commenting on the concerns about a drawn-out legal battle at the court, Lee said, "We hope that the court deliberation will proceed as rapidly as possible in line with the legitimate procedures, and that the truth will be unveiled."
Park is suspected of playing a role in pressuring local conglomerates into donating large sums of money to two nonprofit foundations that were controlled by Choi. The president is also alleged to have allowed Choi, with no official post, to exert undue influence on the government, including presidential affairs and even top-level appointments.
Park has denied all these accusations, calling them "unfounded."
After the submission of the statement, the lineup of Park's attorneys was unveiled. The list included lawyers Lee, Son Bum-kyu, Seo Seong-geon and Chae Myeong-seong. More lawyers are expected to be added to the list, a source said.'