Disgraced South Korean President Park Geun-hye’s longtime friend at the center of a massive corruption scandal has refused to testify at Park’s impeachment trial. The Constitutional Court on Tuesday had expected to hear from Choi (pronounced Chwey) Soon-sil, a confidante of Park who’s currently jailed and on trial herself for allegedly using her connections with the president to extort money and favors from companies and unlawfully interfere with government affairs. But Choi submitted documents to the court saying she was unable to testify.
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Two jailed former presidential aides who purportedly helped Choi also refused to testify, saying they needed to prepare for their own trials. Park’s powers have been suspended since Dec. 9, when South Korea’s opposition-controlled parliament voted to impeach her.