President Park's Defense Team Talks for Two Hours in Court Claiming Impeachment is Unconstitutional

President Park's Defense Team Talks for Two Hours in Court Claiming Impeachment is Unconstitutional

   SEOUL, Feb. 22 (Yonhap) -- President Park Geun-hye's lawyers lodged a strong protest against her impeachment process Wednesday, claiming it was unconstitutional and fraught with legal flaws.

   Kim Pyung-woo, a member of Park's defense team, claimed at the 16th hearing at the Constitutional Court that the National Assembly's vote to impeach the president on Dec. 9 violated the Constitution.

   "To impeach (the president) for 13 reasons that are different in content and corresponding laws, there must be a separate vote on each of them," he said in a feverish appeal that lasted nearly two hours. "Even in the United States, which created the impeachment trial system, they vote on each separate issue."

   Park was impeached on charges of letting her friend Choi Soon-sil meddle in state affairs and colluding with her to extort money from conglomerates.

   The motion passed by parliament is flawed because it lumps together offenses such as bribery, abuse of authority and extortion into one as if they are a "compound crime," the lawyer added.

   Kim recently published a book titled "I Denounce the Impeachment." He joined the defense team last week as the court accelerated its review of the case.

   The lawyer further claimed that the details of the impeachment resolution were not sent to the president.

   "Where in the world is the president impeached and not even informed of the reasons?" he asked. "This kind of political oppression can only be seen in North Korea."

   Lee Dong-heub, another lawyer and former Constitutional Court justice, made similar arguments in the president's defense, saying none of the grounds for impeachment warrant her ouster.

   The impeachment process was triggered by Choi's attempts to use her ties to the president for personal gain, not the president's wrongdoing, he claimed.'

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