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South Korean court opens Roh impeachment hearing
Updated: 2004-03-30 13:29

South Korea's Constitutional Court opened its first hearing on the impeachment of President Roh Moo-hyun on Tuesday, but the president took his lawyers' advice and did not appear, YTN television news reported.

The nine-member Constitutional Court has 180 days to rule on parliament's March 12 impeachment of Roh for technical violations of electoral law, during which time Prime Minister Goh Kun is serving as acting president.

Roh's legal team had advised the outspoken president, a former lawyer himself, not to attend the session to avoid unhelpful confrontation. Roh will automatically be summoned again, and failure to attend that second session would result in the court proceeding in his absence, according to court rules.

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