At the first hearing held April 4 on bribery charges, Choi Soon-sil denied the charges and pleaded that she was falsely charged.
Through her attorneys, Choi stated that Park Geun-hye’s arrest was a tragedy, and that she was sorry to Samsung, who had good intentions for her.
Lee So-young has more.
Choi Soon-sil had been frustrated and silent after the arrest of Park Geun-hye. At her first hearing on bribery charges, however, she spoke again.
In response to the judges asking whether she had anything to say, she tearfully stated that she “met the wrong people,” and that she “wanted to die for being falsely charged,” as she denied all of the charges filed against her.
However, at the ensuing examination of evidence, she changed attitudes, jotting down the arguments from the independent counsel and closely reviewing the lists herself.
With regards to the phone records with Park using phones under borrowed names, she loudly stated that they do not qualify as evidence because the phones do not belong to her.
Choi’s lawyers repeatedly took issues with coercive investigations by the independent counsel and reiterated her argument that the independent counsel law is unconstitutional. They also argued that most of the evidence could not be accepted either.
To counter this, the independent counsel displayed their resolve to prove the bribery charges by moving to summon 167 witnesses.
At the first trial, the counsel particularly focused on Park and Choi’s close relationship in social and economic terms.
Through her lawyers, Choi revealed that “Park’s arrest is a tragic disaster that happened because of my wrong judgments and conduct,” and that she “did not know what to do with her guilt for Samsung, who had been so good to” her.
Lee So-young reporting for Yonhap News TV.
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