Case to remove Park will also weigh blacklist

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Case to remove Park will also weigh blacklist

The parliamentary motion to remove President Park Geun-hye from office has been revised to incorporate recent allegations that she dismissed government officials who were opposed to a blacklist of liberal artists, the motion showed Thursday.

The original motion, which passed through parliament on Dec. 9, centered on allegations that Park let her friend Choi Soon-sil meddle in state affairs and colluded with her to extort money from conglomerates.

In revising it, a parliamentary panel serving as the prosecution in Park’s impeachment trial accused the president of “making select senior officials of the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism resign for refusing to implement the list or being passive about it.”

Allegations about the blacklist surfaced after Park’s impeachment through a former culture minister who claimed to have seen it. That minister was dismissed in 2014, while six other senior ministry officials were allegedly pressured to tender their resignations. Three of them were eventually dismissed.

The list was allegedly created to ban thousands of artists who were critical of the administration from state support.

In the revised motion, the panel denounced the act as a violation of the constitutional powers to appoint and dismiss government officials and the constitutional principles of a cultural nation.

It did not include it as a standalone reason for Park’s impeachment as that would require parliamentary endorsement.

A special counsel investigating the presidential scandal has arrested a number of top former and current officials in connection with the case.

The president has denied knowledge of the blacklist.

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