South Korea's President Park Geun-hye on Monday denied advancing her own interests while in office, as the Constitutional Court held its final hearing on whether to uphold her impeachment by parliament. Mass protests before and after Park's impeachment in December continue to demand her ouster.
In a statement from her lawyer, Park reiterated she never received improper requests from Samsung Group or made wrongful demands on the country's top conglomerate.
Her lawyers maintained she was not aware of any wrongdoing and blamed her secret confidante Choi Soon-Sil, who is accused of using Park’s presidential ties to force local firms to "donate" nearly $70 million to non-profit foundations.
TRT World spoke to journalist Adam Reed who has more from Seoul.
Wrapping up the investigation
Prime Minister Hwang Kyo-ahn, who has been the country's acting president since Park was impeached, rejected a request by the prosecutors for a 30-day extension in the corruption investigation.
The South Korean special prosecutor's office will make its final indictments before its investigation into the scandal closes on Tuesday, spokesman Lee Kyu-chul told reporters.
The Constitutional Court's ruling on whether to uphold the impeachmentis is expected next month. A confirmation of the impeachment would be the first time a democratically-elected South Korean leader has been removed from office.