As the impeachment trial for Park Geun-hye, South Korea’s first woman president, got underway on Thursday, the lead attorney for the embattled politician opened with an interesting strategy. He suggested Park, who has been embroiled in a tawdry corruption scandal for months, is the victim of mob justice, comparing her to some of history’s most well-known figures, and denounced the decision to impeach his client. He also took shots at how the news media has covered the ongoing scandal.
“Socrates was put to death, and Jesus crucified, in mob trials,” Seo Seok-gu, Park’s top lawyer, told the Constitutional Court. “Our democracy is in danger because of so-called majority opinion instigated through demagogy,” he added. Seo went on to dismiss the allegations against Park — giving a close friend who holds no official government job tremendous influence over her decisions, conspiracy, extortion, and other transgressions — as “trivial” mistakes. South Korea’s Parliament voted to impeach Park in early December, a move that has left her stripped of power. The Constitutional Court has until June to decide if Park should be removed from office. Park did not appear at the first day of legal proceedings, and her lawyers have indicated that she has no plans to show up at subsequent hearings.
Read the full story at The New York Times.