SEOUL, Korea, Republic Of — In a nationally televised ruling watched by millions, South Korea's constitutional Court said Friday that it was upholding the dismissal of impeached President Park Geun-hye because she "gravely" violated the law and constitution.
Many of Park's alleged wrongdoings cited by the court as reasons for her dismissal are linked to her collusion with jailed confidante Choi Soon-sil. Prosecutors have accused them of pressuring companies to donate money to foundations they controlled and taking other measures to benefit Choi.
The constitutional Court mainly rules on the constitutionality of laws and the exercises of government powers. Here is the gist of the verdict that the court's eight-judge panel approved unanimously:
—Park abused her presidential post and authority for the benefits of Choi in violation of the constitution and other laws on public servants and their ethics codes.
—Park infringed upon the property rights of businesses and their corporate management rights.
—Park had a presidential adviser pass on many official documents with sensitive information to Choi in violation of a law that requires civil servants to keep official secrets.
—Park concealed Choi's inference in state affairs and denied and criticized speculation about Choi's actions.
—Park had initially promised to co-operate in an investigation, but she then refused to undergo questioning by prosecutors and let authorities search her presidential compound.
—Park's "acts of violating the constitution and law are a betrayal of the public trust."
—"The benefits of protecting the constitution that can be earned by dismissing the defendant are overwhelmingly big. Hereupon, in a unanimous decision by the court panel, we issue a verdict: We dismiss the defendant, President Park Geun-hye."
The Associated Press