South Korea's President removed on corruption scandal

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South Korea's Constitutional Court upheld the impeachment of the country's President Park Geun-hye on Friday, removing the nation's democratically elected leader from office. "There is no other choice but to decide this verdict".

One former president spent nearly two years in detention in the 1990s awaiting his trial.

Park is also accused of conspiring with Choi and top officials to draw up of a blacklist of cultural figures critical of her policies to deny them state support. China threatens a commercial war after the deployment of the United States anti-missile shield THAAD on South Korean soil: although Seoul and Washington say the system is aimed at preventing attacks from the north, Beijing fears it may also target its territory.

The country's first female leader has been accused of allowing a close friend to profit from her connections with the presidency, and was impeached in December after weeks of protests aimed at securing her resignation.

It is ironic, then, that digital communications led to her downfall. The judges also chastised Park for refusing to answer questions about the case.

Analysts had expected the impeachment decision.

"President Park Geun-Hye. has been dismissed".

But Park's lawyers vowed to fight on. Several people were seen unconscious on the ground.

Analysts are tipping the South Korean election will be held on May 9.

A South Korean hospital said he had suffered head injuries after falling from a police bus.

Under normal circumstances, there would be around 70 days after an election before the President-elect starts their term, but because the next one is being held because of a vacancy, the next President-elect will start their term a day after an election, Choi said.

She is also said to have obliged local firms to "donate" almost $70 million to non-profit foundations Choi then allegedly used for personal gain. The two women had 573 phone calls between April 18, 2016 and October 26, 2016, according to an investigation report by prosecutors.

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Thirty suspects, including Samsung chief Lee Jae-yong, were indicted by special prosecutors last month on charges linked to the presidential office's alleged involvement in bribes, the release of confidential documents and the creation of a cultural blacklist. "We submit our position to the Constitutional Court that the investigation report must not be used during the deliberations".

Independent counsel Park Young-soo concluded last week a 90-day probe into corruption and abuse of power allegations against Park, her associates and major Korean companies.

"The nostalgia for Park Chung-hee's developmental dictatorship, which has existed as a sort of myth since the '60s, has been shattered along with Park Geun-hye's impeachment", said Lim Jie-Hyun, a professor at Sogang University.

People on both sides have threatened not to accept a Constitutional Court decision that they disagree with.

Demonstrators have taken to the streets by the hundreds of thousands to demand Park's removal and anti-corruption reforms.

Mr Lee has admitted to giving the money, and says he regrets it, but denies seeking favours in return.

But the scandal involving her secret confidante Choi Soon-Sil has triggered a dramatic downfall of the leader who once was dubbed the "queen of elections" due to staunch support from conservative voters.

We are not a ruling party anymore. Liberal Moon Jae-in, who lost to Park in the 2012 election, now enjoys a comfortable lead in opinion surveys.

Many conservatives are seen as toxic due to their past association with Park, so some political pundits believe South Korea's next leader will be determined in the primaries of the liberal Democratic Party, the largest of the country's opposition parties.

Park Geun-hye has always been considered a kind of princess figure in South Korea, and one with a traumatic past.

Her political life began after her mother was assassinated by a North Korean sympathizer during a failed attempt on her father's life.

The decision is "final and unchallengable", according to the Korea Herald.

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