SEOUL, South Korea (AP) -- Former President Park Geun-hye denied corruption charges Tuesday at the start of a criminal trial that could potentially send South Korea's first female leader to prison for life.
Police had earlier escorted Park, in handcuffs, into court for her first public appearance since she was jailed on March 31 for corruption allegations that led to her removal from office.
Cameras flashed as Park emerged from a bus, her inmate number 503 attached to her dark-colored jacket, and walked into the Seoul Central District Court. Her hands were then uncuffed, and she entered the courtroom and sat before a three-judge panel while a throng of journalists captured images, often in extreme close-up, of her somber face.
When Judge Kim Se-yun asked Park what her occupation was, she replied, "I don't have any occupation."
Her longtime confidante and alleged co-conspirator, Choi Soon-sil, sat near Park. The two women had been friends for four decades but did not acknowledge each other.
Choi sobbed as she answered questions about her address and occupation. Park stared straight ahead as prosecutors read out the charges.