Prosecutors Slash Witness List in Park Trial After Samsung Verdict

Dolly Kim, Sept. 1, 2017, 10:09 a.m.

Prosecutors on Thursday dropped some 95 witnesses who were to testify against ex-President Park Geun-hye, apparently emboldened by the guilty verdict in the related trial of Samsung chief Lee Jae-yong.

The Seoul Central District Prosecutors' Office said it slashed the witness list to exclude those who have already testified in other trials related to the influence-peddling and corruption scandal involving Park and her confidante Choi Soon-sil.

But prosecutors still want to call Choi, who is on trial alongside her, as well as former Cheong Wa Dae officials An Chong-bum and Jung Ho-seong and others.

The decision comes after the Seoul Central District Court found Lee guilty of bribing Park and ruled that the ex-president "was aware" that there were favors to be traded for the billions she solicited from Samsung.

Prosecutors now seem confident that they can establish Park's guilt on most counts without going into minutiae or hearing essentially the same evidence.

Constant attempts by Park's lawyers to drag out the trial beyond the legal deadline to force a mistrial may also have been a consideration. 

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