Justice Department Approves Legal Requirements for President Park's Impeachment
SEOUL, Dec. 24 (Yonhap) -- South Korea's justice ministry said Saturday that it has submitted its views on the recent parliamentary vote to impeach President Park Geun-hye to the Constitutional Court, adding that the process has met all the necessary legal requirements.
On Dec. 9, the National Assembly voted 234-56 to impeach the president over her alleged involvement in corruption and influence-peddling scandals. It immediately suspended her from all powers and the prime minister has since been working as acting president.
The final decision lies with the Constitutional Court which will have up to six months to deliberate whether to oust the president.
In its views submitted to the court on Friday, the ministry said that the impeachment process ranging from the vote to relevant document filing met all legal requirements. It also mentioned core issues, related theories and similar cases in the U.S. and Germany.
"As a ministry in charge of legal affairs, we provided legal opinions, core issues and procedures related to the impeachment from an objective viewpoint in a way that they can help the court's deliberation and decision," the ministry said.
The ministry, however, did not include its opinions on allegations involving the president.
The move was in response to the court's request seeking advice. In the impeachment of late president Roh Moo-hyun in 2004, the ministry also offered its opinions on the case to the court.
At the time, the ministry argued against the impeachment, saying that its process and cited reasons cannot be accepted. The court later rejected the parliament's push to force Roh to step down.
Meanwhile, investigation into President Park and her longtime friend Choi Soon-sil accused of masterminding a range of corrupt deals has been accelerating.
In a related probe, Kim Chong, a former vice culture minister, was summoned by special prosecutors early in the day to face questioning into his suspected role in aiding Choi in pressuring large conglomerates to donate money to her foundations.