Published: Sat, April 07, 2018
Hi-Tech | By Wayne Curry

Former South Korean President Park Sentenced to 24 Years

Former South Korean President Park Sentenced to 24 Years

She had boycotted most sessions of the trial in protest at being held in custody.

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".

Judge Kim Se-yoon said Park had shown "no sign of repentance" after causing "massive chaos" in the country. Park was also fined almost $17 million.

Park was also indicted for accepting 59.2 billion won in bribes from Samsung, Lotte and SK in exchange for business favours.

The biggest charge was that she colluded with a longtime confidante to take tens of millions of dollars from companies in bribes and extortion.

Some of their placards read: "Reinstate President Park immediately" and "Release the most innocent President Park Geun-hye immediately".

South Korea's presidential residence Blue House reacted to the ruling saying it was a "heartbreaking event" for the country. There were no immediate reports of major clashes or injuries. Millions marched calling for her ouster. But he's also remembered for imprisoning and torturing dissidents. "Park has denied all charges against her and expressed no remorse or atonement - legally as well as politically - for what's probably the most shocking political scandal in our modern history", Jeong told AFP.

But she is not the only former president to have been arrested for corruption. "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 anytime soon". A presidential election in May saw the victory of liberal Moon Jae-in, whose administration has overseen a thawing of relations between South and North Korea.

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Park's friendships with Choi, 61, began in the mid-1970s when Choi's late father served as Park's mentor after her mother's assassination.

Choi, who was at the center of the corruption scandal, was sentenced in February to 20 years in prison. But her relations with the Choi family have long haunted her political career.

Most of the money was meant to bankroll non-profit foundations run by Choi's family and confidants, and to fund the education of Choi's horse-riding daughter, the court said. An arrest warrant was issued for Park shortly after she was removed from office.

Surprising enough, Moon's office said Park's fate was disheartening not only for herself but the nation.

Choi, the daughter of a cult leader once accused of having "complete control over Park's body and soul during her formative years", held no political office but is accused of using her influence over the President to funnel money to organizations she controlled and get her daughter a place at an elite university.

Her predecessor, Lee Myung-bak, is also being investigated for corruption.

While this scandal has been roiling South Korea, another former president has found himself in hot water.

Park Chung-hee's successors, Chun Doo-hwan and Roh Tae-woo, both ex-army generals, spent time in jail for bribery, treason, munity and other charges after leaving office.

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