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‘Totally framed’: South Korean President Park Geun-hye denies any wrongdoing, plays down aide’s influence

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NewsHubSouth Korea’s impeached President Park Geun-hye on Sunday repeated denials of involvement in a snowballing corruption scandal and said rumours have been “getting out of hand”, Yonhap news agency reported. “Rumours, stories and broadcasts have been distorted and false information has been getting out of hand,” she was quoted as telling reporters at the presidential Blue House. Parliament voted on December 9 to impeach Park over the scandal. She is accused of colluding with close friend Choi Soon-sil to strong-arm big companies into handing over tens of millions of dollars to dubious foundations which Choi controlled. Park denied the accusations, saying she was “totally framed,” according to Yonhap. “The matter is under investigation, so I can’t make detailed explanations that might put both sides in trouble, but what I can assure you is that I have never conspired with anyone or did anything to give favours to someone, not even by a bit,” Yonhap quoted Park as saying. Choi is now on trial for coercion and abuse of power, largely related to the corporate funding of the two foundations which she allegedly plundered. The impeachment case is being considered by the constitutional court – which has up to six months to reach a ruling – but hundreds of thousands of South Koreans have joined weekly protests calling for Park’s immediate departure from office.

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