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Don’t air whole trial: Park lawyer

Apr 05,2018
Former President Park Geun-hye’s lawyer requested that the court only allow the verdict in her criminal case to be broadcast on Friday instead of the entire trial.

Park, who was impeached in December 2016 and formally removed from office in March 2017, was indicted last April on 18 charges of corruption and power abuse. Although Park did not receive money directly, prosecutors concluded that she received bribes from conglomerates in collusion with her longtime friend Choi Soon-sil.

Prosecutors in February recommended a punishment of 118.5 billion won ($111.4 million) in fines in addition to a 30-year prison term.

Doh Tae-woo, Park’s former lawyer in the criminal case, requested the Seoul Central District Court broadcast only the judgement section of the hearing.

“I am not requesting the court wholly rescind its decision to broadcast the hearing,” he told the JoongAng Ilbo over the phone on Wednesday.

He said that if the whole hearing is broadcasted, the reasons for the judgement will also be made public. Doh argued that this would mean that information that Park says is untrue would be revealed, infringing on the right of the defendant to receive a fair trial.

Doh is representing Park in her civil suit. Last June, 5,000 citizens sued Park, demanding compensation for what they claimed were damages she inflicted on the people of the country as its president.

“I am filing the injunction not as her lawyer, but as an individual,” Doh said. The Seoul Central District Court said it received the injunction.

The court on Tuesday announced its decision to broadcast Park’s hearing on Friday, citing the public’s need to know the details of the trial. It will be the first criminal case verdict in Korea to be broadcasted.

Park’s hearing is scheduled to begin at 2:10 p.m. on Friday. It is unclear if Park will be in the court. She submitted a statement to the court on Monday that said she did not want the sentencing televised. Park has also been boycotting the hearings in her trial since October.

BY MOON HYUN-KYUNG AND ESTHER CHUNG [chung.juhee@joongang.co.kr]