South Korea's president, Park Geun-hye, has been removed from office

Picture: Park Geun-hye

South Korea’s Constitutional Court has voted unanimously to remove the country’s president, Park Geun-hye, from office.

The decision is “final and unchallengable”, according to the Korea Herald.

Park is the first South Korean president to be removed from office. Her successor must be elected within 60 days.

Park was suspended from official duties in December after being accused of colluding with a friend who allegedly pressured companies to donate money in return for government favours.

Both Park and her friend denied the accusations.

All up, Park faced 13 charges, and massive rallies from the citizens of South Korea in recent weeks calling for her final impeachment.

Samsung vice-chairman Jay Y. Lee. Picture: Getty Images

By far the biggest corporate head on the block in the scandal is Samsung chief and heir to its $316 billion empire, Jay Y. Lee.

Park was initially impeached in December following allegations she had her friend Choi Soon-il pressure big businesses to donate to two foundations set up to back Park’s policy initiatives.

Up to $50 million from Samsung was allegedly paid into entities overseen by Choi in return for help cementing Lee’s control of Samsung.

In a statement detailing the findings of its investigation, the special prosecutor’s office said the National Pension Service voted in favor of a merger of two Samsung Group affiliates in 2015, despite anticipating a $158 million loss.

Lee, with a net worth of $8.2 billion, has been in a jail cell since February 17, but just hours before Park’s verdict was handed down, he appeared in court for a preliminary hearing.

Lee denied any wrongdoing.

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