Park Geun-hye

Lawyers deny all charges against South Korea's ousted president Park Geun-hye as she’s held in solitary confinement

Former South Korean president Park Geun-hye is the country’s first democratically elected leader to be dismissed from office

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 02 May, 2017, 1:00pm
UPDATED : Tuesday, 02 May, 2017, 10:51pm

Lawyers for former South Korean president Park Geun-hye, who was indicted last month on a number of charges including abuse of power, on Tuesday denied all the charges brought against her at a preliminary hearing in Seoul.

Park, who has been jailed since March 31, as expected did not attend the hearing at the Seoul Central District Court, which effectively marked the start of her trial.

She was not obligated to attend the hearing, which was held to review the charges brought against her and determine future proceedings.

The court is expected hold two or three more preliminary hearings before opening the first formal hearing around June, according to Yonhap News Agency.

Facing over a dozen charges including soliciting bribes, abuse of power and leaking confidential information, Park has previously denied all the allegations against her.

She is being held in solitary confinement at a detention centre on the outskirts of Seoul and has undergone at least five rounds of questioning.

South Korea’s first female president stands accused of letting her now-jailed confidante Choi Soon-sil, a private citizen, meddle in state affairs and gain unauthorised access to classified documents.

She is also suspected of colluding with Choi to extort massive donations from dozens of South Korean conglomerates, including Samsung Group and Lotte Group, for two non-profit foundations under Choi’s control.

Park became the country’s first democratically elected leader to be dismissed from office when the Constitutional Court on March 10 upheld a parliamentary impeachment vote against her, effectively stripping her of immunity from criminal prosecution.