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

by Antonio Miles April 7, 2018, 0:34
South Korea's Park Geun-hye jailed for 24 years for corruption

Park was not in court for the nationally televised verdict but can still appeal.

They carried flags and banners reading: "Immediately release innocent President Park Geun-hye", and "Stop murderous political revenge".

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

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.

Her trial and sentencing have been broadcast on live TV across the country, in a national first after judges deemed the case to be "of public interest".

What was she convicted of?

It is noteworthy that hye's predecessor, Lee Myung-bak, who ruled from 2008 to 2013, is also now in detention on allegations of multiple corruption charges but unlike Park, he finished his presidential term and was arrested in the wake of the latest scandal in March, 2018.

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.

On November 23, 2016, Geun-hye's office confirmed revelations by an opposition lawmaker that it purchased about 360 erectile dysfunction Viagra pills and the generic version of the drug to potentially treat altitude sickness for presidential aides and employees on Park's May trips to Ethiopia, Uganda, and Kenya, whose capitals are thousands of metres above sea level. The first words she reportedly says at a hospital were, "How is Daejeon?" to check how the election campaign was going in that city; that further builds up her image as a strong leader.

Korean Culture and Information Service, CC BY-SA 2.0)"The President abused the power which was given to her by the citizens", the judge said.

The former leader was also charged for soliciting bribes from the head of the Samsung Group for government favours.

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

The 66-year-old was found guilty of crimes ranging from bribery to coercion, abuse of power and leaking of state secrets. Park was ousted from office on March 10, 2017, around a year short of her five-year tenure.

She was arrested shortly afterwards, and has been in detention ever since. Shin is appealing his 30-month jail sentence.

Ms Chung has also faced scrutiny, and was extradited from Denmark to South Korea previous year to face questioning. After sending tanks and soldiers into Seoul, he elected himself president of South Korea.

Her predecessor, Lee Myung-bak, is now under investigation for corruption, while Chun Doo-hwan, a former military dictator, was found guilty of mutiny, treason and corruption in 1996.

Chun Doo-hwan, a former military dictator, was found guilty of mutiny, treason and corruption in 1996. President Roh Moo-hyun committed suicide while being investigated for corruption in 2009.

What does the verdict mean for the country?

The scandal exposed a network of bribes that entangled some of the country's biggest names in business.

After years of seclusion, Park Geun-hye returned to politics by winning a parliamentary seat in the late-1990s, during a burst of nostalgia for her father after South Korea's economy was devastated by a foreign-exchange crisis.

Many supporters are expected to gather outside the court.

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