The trial of Choi Soon-sil, the woman at the centre of an influence-peddling scandal involving South Korea's president, has gone under way.
Choi, a close friend of President Park Geun-hye, is charged with abuse of power and attempted fraud.
Separately, the Constitutional Court began considering President Park's impeachment over the scandal.
That trial, where the court must ratify or overturn a parliamentary impeachment vote, began despite Park's absence.
Both cases centre on allegations that President Park gave Choi unauthorised access to government decisions and allowed her to exploit their close relationship to solicit money from corporations for foundations from which she benefitted.