Published: Sat, April 07, 2018
Tech | By Amelia Peters

Former South Korean president Park Geun-hye convicted, jailed for 24 years

Former South Korean president Park Geun-hye convicted, jailed for 24 years

Former South Korean President Park Geun-hye was sentenced to 24 years in prison on Friday just over a year after she was expelled from office due to a scandal that drew millions of demonstrators on to the country's streets.

The high-profile graft scandal led to the president's impeachment in December 2016, and triggered massive protests across South Korea both supporting and condemning Park.

The Seoul Central District Court found the former leader guilty of 16 counts of bribery, abuse of power, and coercion.

The court found that Park, had colluded with her long-time friend Choi Soon-sil to solicit bribes from South Korean conglomerates, including Samsung.

The prosecutors had asked for a 30-year jail sentence and an £80 million fine on charges which were also related to bribery and coercion.

The leader was, however, conspicuous by her absence at the court since she boycotted the trial accusing to be biased against her.

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.

"We can not help but sternly hold her accountable", Kim said.

A South Korean court is set to issue a verdict against disgraced former President Park Geun-hye over a corruption scandal.

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Consequently, her ouster from office a year ago led to a presidential election won by the liberal Moon Jae-in, whose conciliatory stand on North Korea has underpinned a significant warming of ties between the antagonistic neighbours. "However, a bleak and dry wind blew across all of us today", said spokesman Kim Eui-kyeom.

Park is the daughter of former President Park Chung-hee, a dictator who ruled the nation for 18 years until his assassination in 1979.

Choi, who rose to power as an influential confidante of Park, was convicted of corruption in February.

Park's supporters and opponents reflect divisions in a society still haunted by Cold War antagonism.

She was very popular among the people because of her father who ruled for over 18 years from 1961 and helped the country to get over poverty post-Korean war.

She was removed from the office after a lot of protests which is called the Candlelight Revolution.

The former president, South Korea's first female leader, was also fined 18bn won (£12m).

Lee Myung-bak, president from 2008-2013, was a strong anti-corruption proponent. Choi was sentenced to 20 years in prison in February.

Chun's successor, Roh Tae-woo, was also convicted of treason, mutiny and corruption in 1996 and jailed for more than 22 years but served just over two years before being released.

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