Trial of S. Korea's Park on hold after lawyers quit

SEOUL: Ousted South Korean president Park Geun-Hye's corruption trial was put on hold Thursday after her lawyers resigned to protest what they called biased proceedings.

The defence team quit en masse on Monday, when Park condemned the trial as "political revenge", after her detention warrant was extended for another six months.

Park – who faces multiple charges including bribery, coercion and abuse of power for offering governmental favours to tycoons – refused to attend the Seoul Central District Court on Thursday, citing her allegedly poor health.

The court had urged her lawyers to reconsider their resignations "to prevent possible disadvantages to the accused" but they had not withdrawn them, senior judge Kim Se-Yun told the hearing.

"This case cannot proceed without defence lawyers ... as the charges against the accused may entail a heavy punishment," he said, adding the court will appoint state attorneys to replace them.

He adjourned the proceedings to an unspecified date.

The process is likely to take some time as the defendant's new representatives will have to review more than 100,000 pages of evidence. — AFP