Provisionally impeached by South Korean Parliament in December 2015, South Korea’s #President Park Geun-hye's alleged conduct continues to trigger eruptions from the public. For ten sequential weekends, hundreds of thousands of citizens have packed the central city of Seoul calling for Park’s full-scale resignation. Today she declined to testify at her #impeachment trial.

Response

Reuters reports, Park said on the matter, "It's completely framed.”, “a fabrication and falsehood.”

Park and her attorneys are opposed to the impeachment and are preparing to challenge the proceedings in a court battle. She is charged with using her influential position and government authority to coerce corporations for financial donations in exchange for special treatment; with these payments going to her presidential favorites in the non-profit foundation industry.

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These selected institutions are run and managed by her friend, Choi Soon-sil.

Investigation

According to Park, Choi is “merely an acquaintance” and was not given access or authority surrounding affairs of state. Choi is held while on trial. Park has made an apology for being irresponsible with regard to appearances and perceptions with Choi; however, maintains there has been no crime or misconduct.

Chief to the investigation is that Park asserts she was entrapped and tricked. That she never directed the administration to back the multi-national Samsung corporate associates in a 2015 merger. The merger of Samsung Group affiliates Cheil Industries Inc and Samsung C&T Corp is significant due to the influence peddling allegations that subsequently led South Korea’s parliament to impeach Park.

Conflicts

Assertions of conflicts of interest, conspiracies, and power mongering thrive and proliferate as the scandal expands, to the detriment of shareholders, investors, and the people.

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Failure to initiate an outside, independent, unbiased review board prior to the positive merger vote is only one of the problems. South Korea’s national pension fund was a major shareholder that profited from the merger. According to Reuters, “The National Pension Service had 545 trillion won ($451.78 billion) under management at the end of September.”

Supporters of the merger voice that this was “a just policy decision” in the best interests of the nation and backed by brokerage firms.

Trial

Park has been offered another chance to testify at Thursday’s hearing. South Korean Constitutional Court judges will decide within 180 days to support impeachment or restore Park Geun-hye as president. #conflict of interest