FIRST AIRED: December 19, 2016

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>> The mysterious woman at the center of South Korea's tangled political scandal getting her day in court on Monday. Choi Soon-sil, a longtime friend and confidant of the president, denying charges of fraud, and an abuse of power. Prosecutor say she was the mastermind behind schemes to squeeze businesses for millions of dollars, in collusion with President Park Geun-hye.
A scandal which lead to the president's impeachment earlier this month. But, as Reuters, Tony Munroe, reports, there's still a lot of intrigue surrounding the lesser known figure in the case.>> She is a very compelling figure, and this trial is the first time we really get into detail, what she is, very specifically, alleged to have done, and also, what she will have to say for herself, in her defense.
And Choi is believed to have exerted a very high degree of influence on President Park over the years, and that extends to having been involved in editing her speeches and getting involved in possibly in policy decisions. This is a drama of historical proportion here, and it really has captivated people and driven a high level of political activism.
>> Choi says the trial will be a chance to, quote, clarify the facts. Her lawyer calling the charges a work of fiction.>> We stressed that there was no collusion between Choi, the president, and her former aide. And we look forward to having an intense examination over this point.
>> Her next hearing is set for December 29th. Meanwhile, Park is hold up in the presidential house, stripped of her powers, while she waits for the Constitutional Court to decide her fate.>>
> If the court rules to uphold Parliament's impeachment vote, she would become the country's first elected leader to be thrown out of office.