Ex-South Korean president Park jailed for 24 years over corruption

Former Pres. Park Geun-hye Won't Appear in Trial to be Broadcast Live
JUST IN: Ex-president sentenced to 24 years in Jail

07 April, 2018

A South Korean court on Friday sentenced the impeached President Park Geun-hye to 24 years in jail and fined her 18 billion won (17 million USA dollars) over a series of corruption counts.

During her state visit to Kenyan in May 2016, Park reportedly 360 erectile dysfunction Viagra pills and the generic version of the drug sparking controversy over intended use.

Weeks later, Park, in handcuffs, is brought to the Seoul Central District Court for the opening of her criminal trial.

April 2017: Park is indicted by prosecutors on multiple charges, including abuse of power, extortion, bribery and leaking state secrets.

Park has one week to decide whether to appeal the verdict.

"Given her attitude and public anger over her scandal that remains raw, it will be hard to create a political environment in favour of her release any time soon", Jeong told AFP. She had boycotted most sessions of the trial in protest at being held in custody.

When Park defiantly stayed in office, lawmakers impeached her in December 2016 and a court removed her in March of a year ago.

She has consistently denied wrongdoing. The court proceeding had been broadcast live on television for the first time since a law allowing broadcasts was passed previous year.

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The court ruled that Park colluded with her old friend, Choi Soon-sil, to receive tens of billions of won from entities such as Samsung and Lotte. Park once described Choi as someone who helped her when she had difficulties. Though she filed an injunction requesting that only a section of the hearing be broadcast, the court dismissed it.

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. Park was also convicted of passing on presidential documents with sensitive information to Choi via one of her presidential aides.

Park Geun-hye is the daughter of another president, Park Chung-hee, who seized power in 1961 and was assassinated eight years later.

"A history that is not remembered is bound to be repeated", it read.

Choi was convicted and sentenced on Feb 13 to 20 years in jail. Friday's sentence is the latest in Park's fall from power after she was ousted in February 2017, clearing the way for liberal South Korean President Moon Jae-in to take power in the vacuum.

The predecessor of Park, Lee Myung-bak also like Park is accused bribery and abuse of power.

Citing a lack of evidence, the judges rejected prosecutors' allegations that Park sought bribes from Samsung in return for government help to solidify Jay Y. Lee's control of the conglomerate.

Park's supporters - mainly older conservative voters - have staged street demonstrations nearly every weekend to protest against her impeachment and imprisonment.

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