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South Korea’s Constitutional Court ended months of waiting Wednesday by revealing it will announce its decision on whether to oust or reinstate impeached President Park Geun-hye this Friday morning.
A court spokesperson stated the verdict will be broadcast live at 11 a.m. (0200GMT).
Due to a retirement after the impeachment trial began in January, eight justices from an original panel of nine are responsible for the decision.
Acting Chief Justice Lee Jung-mi is also due to step down Monday, with at least six of the judges required to agree on the president’s impeachment in order for it to be upheld by the court.
Park was impeached by a December parliamentary vote on charges of power abuse and failing to protect victims of the 2014 Sewol ferry disaster.
Through the verdict, Park will either be cleared so that she can resume presidential duties until the end of her term next year or she will be forced to leave office prompting a snap election within 60 days.
A special prosecution-led probe has already resulted in 30 suspects being indicted over allegations such as bribery and forging a cultural blacklist targeting artists deemed critical of the government.
Among the prominent names linked to the wide-ranging scandal is Samsung Vice Chairman Lee Jae-yong, who is accused of paying tens of billions of dollars to ensure state backing for a merger of affiliates in 2015.
A group of Park supporters rallied outside the court Wednesday, waving South Korean flags and claiming her impeachment was “illegal”.
Anti-Park demonstrators have been gathering in their millions for candlelight protests since last October and their latest street rally began later in the evening in central Seoul.
2017.03.08 / 17:48