Former South Korean leader gets 24 years in prison

07 April, 2018, 00:43 | Author: Juana Mckenzie
  • S. Korea court set to rule on ex-President Park

Park has continued to say she is innocent of any wrongdoing.

The Seoul Central District Court found her guilty on 16 out of 18 charges. "The responsibility lies with the defendant who has abandoned her constitutional duties", Judge Kim Se-yun told the court.

Both Park and prosecutors - who had demanded a 30-year sentence - have one week to appeal.

It was reported that "Park had colluded with her long-time friend Choi Soon-sil to solicit bribes from South Korean conglomerates including Samsung and retail giant Lotte in exchange for policy favours".

Kim Yong-sam, president from 1993-1998, managed to ruin the South Korean economy, and he left office with an absolutely abysmal approval rating.

The scandal has already led to the arrests, indictments and convictions of dozens of high-profile government officials and business leaders.

They carried flags and banners reading: "Immediately release innocent President Park Geun-hye", and "Stop murderous political revenge". "She has to take heavy responsibility to make sure a president of the country does not abuse his or her power again". Her electoral base remembers the time when her father, who is often called a dictator, ruled the country as a period of strength.

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The corruption scandal triggered months of mass protests and political turmoil in South Korea.

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

The court noted that Park Geun Hye has denied the charges made against her and does not appear to be reflecting on her actions, and instead has passed the blame to others.

But in 2016, reports of Choi's influence emerged, leading to revelations that she had been extracting money from big businesses on the president's behalf.

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's father Choi Tae Min was described by a U.S. diplomat as a Korean Rasputin who had "complete control over Park's body and soul".

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.

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Park has previously insisted that she only got help from Choi on public relations and to edit some presidential speeches.

She was charged and arrested soon after her dismissal from office.

"It is President Moon Jae-in who should be scared of consequences of today", said Jeon Hee-kyeong, spokesperson of the LKP.

Apparently this was as a result of a scandal that exposed webs of corruption between political leaders and the country bigwigs.

Lee Myung-bak, president from 2008-2013, was a strong anti-corruption proponent.

"South Koreans are my family", she once declared.

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