South Korea's Ex-President Sentenced To 24 Years For Corruption

07 April, 2018, 00:50 | Author: Larry Hoffman
  • JUST IN: Ex-president sentenced to 24 years in Jail

A South Korean court on Friday sentenced the impeached President Park Geun-hye to 24 years in jail with a fine of 18 billion won (17 million USA dollars) for corruption.

Handing down the sentence at Seoul Central District Court, the judge said that Park had "abused the power which was given to her by the citizens".

Park was also ordered to pay a fine of 18 billion won ($17 million). "Yet she has not showed much sign of remorse and kept blaming Choi and her aides", Kim said. Park objected to the decision citing the violation of the innocence presumption, but the court said it allowed the live broadcasting for the trial's significance, historical meaning and people's right to know.

Park, 66, who has been in jail since March 31 previous year, has denied wrongdoing and was not present in court.

The former leader was not in court on Friday for the verdict.

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"It's inevitable that the defendant should be held strictly responsible for her crimes, if only to prevent the unfortunate event of a president abusing the power granted by the people and throwing state affairs into chaos form happening again", chief judge Kim Se-yun said.

Park, 66, was convicted of receiving or demanding more than $20mn from conglomerates, sharing secret state documents with Choi, ordering officials to stop offering state subsidies to "blacklisted" artists critical of her policies, and firing officials who resisted her abuses of power. Lee was convicted of bribing Park in a bid to tighten his grip over the company.

Park was impeached and arrested in March 2017.

May 2017: Park's rival, Moon, wins a presidential by-election.

The former South Korean president will serve a 24 years jail term after a South Korean court on Friday delivered the verdict. In the 1990s, former dictator Chun Doo-hwan was sentenced to death, and his successor, Roh Tae-woo, received a 22 1/2-year term after the pair were found guilty of creating slush funds and inciting a coup.

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The scandal "exposed what has always been widely suspected in South Korea: the entangled web of government and sprawling business conglomerates that dominate the country's economy", say The Guardian.

The corruption scandal, which first began unraveling the Park presidency in the fall of 2016, ensnared dozens of government officials and businesses. Her lawyers plan to appeal.

Up to 1,000 Park supporters gathered outside the court, holding national flags and signs calling for an end to "political revenge" against her.

She was indicted for corruption and other charges in April past year.

Choi, the daughter of a South Korean cult leader, was sentenced to 20 years in jail on 18 charges in February. 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.

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Park was removed from office early previous year following months of protests. He was sentenced to 2.5 years in prison. She was charged and detained soon after her dismissal from office.

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