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Park Geun-hye and Lee Jae-yong to Testify at Each Other's Trials

17:29 June 21, 2017 replay time01:55

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[Anchor]

Former President Park Geun-hye and Vice Chairman of Samsung Electronics Lee Jae-yong were summoned as witnesses at each other's trials.

The trials are bound to draw attention. Whether they really will be called as witnesses and whether they will give meaningful testimony is to be seen.

Kim Min-hye has more.

[Reporter]

Vice Chairman of Samsung Electronics Lee Jae-yong was chosen as a witness for the trial of Former President Park Geun-hye.

The Justice Department accepted the prosecution's opinion and will summon Vice Chairman Lee to testify on the 3rd of next month.

If he attends as a witness, it will be the first time in one year and four months since he met with Former President Park during his 3rd private meeting with her in February of last year at the Blue House.

Former President Park was also chosen to stand in the witness box at Vice President Lee's trial two days later on the 5th.

As these two are under suspicion of exchanging bribes, the Justice Department decided that direct testimony needs to be heard.

As of now, it appears that the two tangled in bribery allegations regarding the succession of management rights of Samsung will meet again as a defendant and witness, but whether this will actually come to pass is questionable.

Former President Park has already been absent twice from the trial of former administrative staff Lee Young-sun who was charged with willingly overlooking the President's "shadowy" doctors on the grounds of health issues and preparation for her own trial.

The Justice Department chose a date for Lee Jae-yong's trial that does not overlap with Former President Park's trial, but there is a possibility that she will not comply, giving similar reasons.

Vice Chairman Lee too, even if he does comply with serving as a witness, may exercise his "Right to Refuse to Testify" as did former CEO of Samsung Electronics Park Sang-jin, and the trial may essentially be unfruitful.

The prosecution seems to be wary of this, proposing to the Justice Department that "the investigation of Vice Chairman Lee as a witness is expected to not happen anyway" and that we should "wait to see if he exercises his right to refuse to testify."

Kim Min-hye reporting for Yonhap News TV.

Yonhap News TV: 02-398-4441 (Inquiry on article) 4409 (Report), KakaoTalk/LINE jebo23

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