South Korean politicians must rebuild trust with the people

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The de facto head of Samsung, Lee Dae-jung, went on trial on Thursday for his alleged role in the scandal.

The court's decision, which was unanimous, makes Park the first ever South Korean leader to be removed from office by impeachment.

RT asked Viktor Goa, Director of the China National Association of International Studies, whether public opinion is divided since mass protests were calling for the resignation of the former President, and a lot of people turned out to support her. The country will hold elections to select a new leader within two months.

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FILE - Park Geun-hye greets children when she served as her father and then-President Park Chung-hee's first lady in the 1970s, after her mother Yuk Young-soo was assassinated by a North Korean-backed gunman.

2012: Ms Park wins her party's primary to become presidential candidate and defeats liberal candidate Moon Jae-in. Anti-Park protesters celebrated by marching in the streets near the presidential Blue House, carrying flags, signs and an effigy of Park dressed in prison clothes and tied up with rope.

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. In an apology televised last December, Park admitted that Choi saw "some documents" for some time after she took office, but did not specify what they contained.

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"The verdict puts South Korea at a historic juncture, with many hoping it will be a harbinger of reform in a nation plagued by graft and cronyism", the Financial Times reported as news of the ouster, which leaves Park open to potential criminal charges, circled the globe. She also refused to appear at the impeachment trial, which finished arguments on February 27.

The South Korean constitution requires at least six justices to agree on any impeachment vote by the National Assembly.

The court's judgement has been highly anticipated, and its decision is set to be carried live on television across the nation.

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Park has denied any legal wrongdoing and involvement in Choi's actions. Their investigations have led to the arrests of former government officials as well as Lee Jae-yong, the de facto leader of Samsung who is accused of bribing Park in return for business favors. Choi is being tried for abuse of power and fraud. He is indicted on charges including pledging $US37.24 million in payments to Ms Choi.

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