Posted October. 17, 2017 07:23,
Updated October. 17, 2017 08:14
Former President Park Geun-hye expressed her frustration over the court decision to extend her detention. “This political vendetta being carried out in the name of the law should not be repeated again,” said Park. “I will shoulder the historical yoke and responsibility of this case.” She also said, “I lost my confidence that the court will rule in an impartial manner. I will leave the case to the court,” referring to her attorneys’ decision to resign en mass.
Park’s remarks suggest that she is boycotting the trial and protesting against the court decision. Her warrant was supposed to expire on Monday, but the court issued an additional six-month arrest warrant for Park. Her disappointment and complaint were expected, but her remarks are more than just a protest. They were more of an announcement that she will take part in the politics. Her intention is to turn a criminal trial into a political trial by calling herself a “scapegoat of political revenge” and publicly stating her distrust of the court. She threw herself into the political strife between the ruling and the opposition parties over “eliminating deep-rooted abuses” and “political vendetta.”
Park pleaded with public officials and businessmen for clemency, saying, “Please blame me for all the wrongdoings.” However, she denied accusations against her and shifted the blame to Choi Soon-sil at the same time, asserting that “her trust in one person was bitterly betrayed.” She argued that she never abused her power or colluded with a friend. Pleading innocence while asking to hold her accountable for everything and forgive all concerned is beyond reason at best. If she is denying criminal charges and intending to take only political responsibilities, she is only consulting her own private convenience.
Defendants can insist their innocence in a trial. However, she cannot just turn a blind eye when persons related to this scandal are declared guilty. Her remarks on taking responsibility are too late. Park refused to voluntarily resign, and now her trial is at the final phase after a series of judicial proceedings – the impeachment decision of the constitutional court, investigation and prosecution of the independent counsel team. Even the Liberty Korea Party considers cancellation of her party membership as a done deal. She is driven into a corner and now trying to turn a criminal trial into a political strife for her own benefit.
That is why her comments are seen as a stalling tactic to delay the trial. The trial is bound to be delayed as her attorneys resigned en bloc. The court would have to appoint a public defender if the attorneys do not withdraw their resignation or if new attorneys are not appointed by Thursday, which would significantly delay the trial. If this is not her intention, she needs to get her attorneys back to work.
She mentioned “historical yoke and responsibility,” but it does not sound as grim as her father’s resolution that he would push forward his mission even though people spit on his grave after he died. Like it or not, “President Park Geun-hye” is a part of Korea’s history. Current confusion in our society will be lifted by time, and she will be thoroughly assessed. Many Koreans regret the unfortunate history of the former president and her imprisonment. I hope she would reflect on her behaviors that make these people turn their back on her.