Ex-South Korean president sentenced to 24 years in prison
Ex-South Korean president sentenced to 24 years in prison
South Korea ex-president Park gets 24 years' jail in corruption scandal
07 April, 2018, 00:34
A judge at Seoul Central District Court issued a lengthy verdict on Friday, eventually reaching a sentence six years shy of prosecutors' demands.
Following weeks of huge demonstrations calling for her ouster, the National Assemblyimpeached Park in December 2016 on charges of bribery and abuse of presidential power.
The court found Park guilty of colluding with her old friend, Choi Soon-sil, to receive about 7 billion won ($6.56 million) each from Lotte Group, a retail giant, and Samsung, the world's biggest maker of smartphones and semiconductors, while demanding 8.9 billion won from SK, an energy conglomerate.
Park is expected to appeal all the way to the Supreme Court, which could take about a year.
Choi, who rose to power as an influential confidante of Park, was convicted of corruption in February.
Samsung's de facto leader Lee Jae-yong, also known as Jay Y Lee, was singled out in particular after details emerged that he had given a horse to Choi's daughter Chung Yoo-ra, who is an equestrian.
The first major challenge of her presidency came in 2014 when the Sewol ferry sunk, killing more than 300.
This case was the rarest in the history of South Korea where the court made a decision to broadcast the trial live.
Park was removed from office last March on a Constitutional Court ruling following massive protests.
The protests show how deeply South Koreans are split along ideological and generational lines, the result of decades-long tension with rival North Korea and the lingering fallout from the conservative military dictatorships that ran the country until the late 1980s.
Older, conservative South Koreans, who remembered the dictatorship of Park's father fondly as a period of strength for the country, were her electoral base and a common sight throughout the impeachment process.
Now 85, Roh also received a presidential pardon and walked free on the same day as Chun in 1997, albeit from a different prison.
Park Geun-hye joins the ranks of South Korea'smany notorious leaders.
But she is not the only former president to have been arrested for corruption. In essence, Choi was accused of using her connections with Park to strongarm business interests into donating large sums of money to organizations she controlled.
Much of the public anger was focused on Park's relationship with Choi and accusations that she let her childhood friend - who held no formal position or security clearance - meddle in state affairs, including high-level appointments and editing official speeches.
In April 2014, following the sinking of a ferry that left over 200 people dead or missing, her government's poor handling of the disaster attracted heavy criticism.
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