April 25, 2018 13:31
Ex-President Park Geun-hye did not appear in court on Tuesday for the first hearing of a fresh trial on charges that she took money from the National Intelligence Service while in office.
Park, who has already been sentenced to 24 years in jail for corruption and abuse of power, was additionally charged with taking W3.5 billion in brown envelopes from the spy agency from May 2013 to September 2016 (US$1=W1,077).
The Seoul Central District Court decided to try Park in absentia. "She sent the court a letter with reasons for her non-attendance at trial," the court said. "The court therefore issued a subpoena, but that was not executed."
Park has been boycotting proceedings since last October, when the court extended her detention and her lawyers resigned en masse.
She also did not appear for the first hearing of yet another case about her involvement in the then ruling Saenuri Party's selection of candidates for general elections.
She could in theory be dragged into the dock, but the court decided to spare her the humiliation citing her "status as former president."
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