The court hearing South Korean impeached Presi-dent Park Geun-Hye's impeachment trial yesterday dismissed as unsatisfactory attempts to explain her whereabouts during the 2014 Sewol ferry disaster. Parliament voted to impeach Park last month over an influence-peddling scandal that has brought hundreds of thousands of protesters onto the streets every week demanding her removal. At the time of the vote lawmakers also said allegations that Park failed to carry out her official duties as the head of state during the ferry sinking were also grounds for her removal from office.
The Constitutional Court last month urged Park's defense counsel to clarify the mystery surrounding her seven-hour absence during the disaster that claimed more than 300 lives, mostly school children. Unconfirmed media reports have suggested a wide range of theories about her whereabouts, including a romantic liaison, participation in a shamanistic ritual, cosmetic surgery or a 90-minute hair styling. Park's lawyers said Tuesday that she had felt unwell on the morning of the disaster and stayed at her residence. - AFP, Seoul