South Korean president absent again as impeachment trial continues

The first session of the hearing was adjourned on Tuesday after only nine minutes because of President Park Geun-hye's absence.

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

Nine judges of South Korea's Constitutional Court sit during a hearing on whether to confirm the impeachment of President Park Geun-Hye, at the Court in Seoul on January 5, 2017.

South Korea's Constitutional Court in Seoul began a second day of hearings on Thursday to decide whether President Park Geun-hye should be impeached, despite her continued absence from the proceedings.

The court ruled on Tuesday, when she also didn't show up, that it cannot force her to appear in the hearings, which under law can proceed without her.

Park is accused of pressuring businesses to contribute to non-profit organisations. She denies any wrongdoing.

In December, the scandal drew hundreds of thousands of protesters onto the streets of Seoul for weekly demonstrations and could result in Park, 64, becoming the first democratically elected South Korean leader to leave office early.

Park was impeached by parliament late last year, a decision that must be upheld or rejected by the Constitutional Court.

Her supporters have held counter-demonstrations. The president argues that the opposition protests do not represent the will of the South Korean people. 

U-Jean Jung joins TRT World  from Seoul.

TRTWorld and agencies