14:05 GMT +320 July 2018
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    Choi Soon-sil, the woman at the centre of the South Korean political scandal and long-time friend of President Park Geun-hye, appears for her first trial at the Seoul Central District Court on January 5, 2017 in Seoul, South Korea

    Friend of Impeached S Korean President Denies Profiting From Ties With Park

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    A close friend of impeached South Korean President Choi testified at the Constitutional Court on Monday saying she had never received any benefits from her ties with Park.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Choi Soon-sil, a close friend of South Korean President Park Geun-hye impeached over a corruption scandal, testified at the Constitutional Court on Monday saying she had never received any benefits from her ties with Park.

    "I have never gained any benefits or privileges. I think it is a jump of logic," Choi said, as quoted by the Yonhap news agency.

    Choi demanded to see evidence of her alleged wrongdoing and complained of the "coercive" strategy of the investigators, according to the news agency.

    The president's shadow adviser confirmed that she had attended the president's office, received the drafts of Park's speeches and edited them to make them more emotional, the news agency reported.

    The South Korean parliament voted to impeach the president on December 9, 2016 in the wake of an influence-peddling scandal involving Choi, who does not hold any official posts in the government or the president's administration, and was accused of abuse of power after it was revealed she edited the president's speeches. The Constitutional Court has now six months to decide upon the validity of the parliament's impeachment of Park. If the impeachment is recognized as valid, presidential elections should be called within two months.


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    impeachment, corruption scandal, Yonhap, Choi Soon-sil, Park Geun-hye, South Korea
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