South Korea's former President Park Geun-hye jailed for 24 years for corruption

Team SoOLEGAL 7 Apr 2018 1:38pm

South Korea's former President Park Geun-hye jailed for 24 years for corruption

Seoul:Close on the heels of ex Brazilian President getting convicted of corruption charges.  Here is another one. Now, the first lady president of Korea Park Geun-hye has been handed over sentence of 24 years in jail after she was found guilty of abuse of power and coercion during her Presidentship. She has been fined 18bn won (£12m, $17m).Though the verdict was shown live, she still boycotted the court proceedings calling the trial a sham. She said she denies the charges and will file an appeal against the verdict.

The court held her guilty in 16 out of 18 charges related to bribery and coercion.

The court stated she had colluded with her close friend, Choi Soon-sil, to force companies like Samsung and retail chain Lotte to give millions of dollars to foundations run by Choi. Another charge that she pressured companies to  sign lucrative deals with firms owned by Choi and donate gifts to Choi and her daughter was also accepted by the court.

Pronouncing the verdict, the Judge Kim Se-yoon said Park had shown "no sign of repentance" after causing "massive chaos" in the country.

"We cannot help but sternly hold her accountable," the judge said. However, she will have seven days time to appeal against the verdict.

South Korea's presidential residence, the Blue House, issued a statement after the verdict calling it a "heartbreaking event for the nation".

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

Park and Choi were very close childhood friends and Choi after Park became President,became one of her most important aide. Corruption charges started surfacing about their dealing and things became so murky that it included everyone in the ruling establishment. Bureaucrats, top industrialist all came under scrutiny. Samsung's de facto leader Lee Jae-yong, also known as Jay Y Lee spent five months in jail for his involvement in aiding the scandal. He was accused of giving a horse to Choi's daughter Chung Yoo-ra, who is an equestrian. Eventually she was impeached.  Incidentally, she is the first President to be impeached, though other Presidents before her have also been convicted of corruption charges.

Earlier this year her friend Choi was also found guilty of corruption, and sentenced to 20 years in prison.

The scandal has led to the rise of the liberal Moon Jae-in, Park's previous political opponent who eventually replaced her as president after campaigning on a platform of a clean government.

Tagged: South Korean President   Corruption   Conviction   Samsung  
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