The trial of former South Korean President Park Geun-hye has begun. Park denied all 18 charges against her on her first day in court, May 23. She was removed from office in March because of her role in the corruption scandal for which she’s now standing trial. Among other crimes, Park accused of eliciting nearly $53 million in bribes from some of the country’s largest companies. Some bribes came in the form of donations to nonprofits run by Park’s friend Choi Soon-sil.
Park and Choi are being tried together, along with Lotte Group Chairman Shin Dong-bin, who is accused of offering bribes to Park and Choi. Choi also pleaded not guilty, and she called herself a sinner for causing her longtime friend Park to appear in court. The trial is being overseen by a three-justice panel, which the Korea Herald reports will meet two to three times a week.