Woman at center of S. Korea scandal shouts out her innocence

January 25, 2017 06:20

SEOUL, Jan 25 - The woman at the center of a corruption scandal gripping South Korea angrily protested her innocence on Wednesday, shouting that she had been made to confess as she was forcibly summoned for questioning.

Choi Soon-sil, who has been indicted for meddling in state affairs through her friendship with impeached President Park Geun-hye, made the protest at the special prosecutor's office, before being pushed into an elevator by correctional officers.

The dramatic scenes came as the outgoing chief judge of the Constitutional Court urged the bench to wrap up Park's impeachment trial by March 13, when the retirement of another judge will reduce the nine-judge court to seven and could raise questions about the verdict.

His comments were the clearest indication of the timing of a decision on Park, either to remove her from office with an election to be called 60 days later, or for her to be reinstated.

Park was impeached amid the influence-peddling scandal that has engulfed her administration over recent months. If the impeachment is upheld, she will become the first democratically elected leader to be removed from office.

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