nsucurrent.com April 24, 2018

Ousted South Korean president Park Geun-hye jailed 24 years for corruption

07 April 2018, 12:37 | Colleen Roy

Park is expected to learn her fate at the detention centre near Seoul where she has been in custody for almost a year

Park is expected to learn her fate at the detention centre near Seoul where she has been in custody for almost a year

A former President of South Korea, Park Geun-hye was on Friday found guilty of corruption charges and sentenced to 24 years imprisonment. Park objected it citing the violation of the innocence presumption, but the court said it allowed the live broadcating due to the trial's significance, historical meaning and people's right to know.

Park was also convicted of the charges related to her government's creation and management of an artist blacklist deemed critical of her government.

The former president has been held at a detention center near Seoul since she was arrested in March 2017.

Judge Kim Se-yoon said: "The amount of bribery the accused received or demanded in collaboration with Choi amounts to more than 23 billion won".

Park apologized while in office for seeking help from Choi, who had no policy or political experience, but that was as close as she came to admitting any guilt.

South Korea's presidential residence Blue House reacted to the ruling saying it was a "heartbreaking event" for the country.

"The rule of law in this country is dead today", said one pro-Park demonstrator. In February, the court sentenced Choi to 20 years in prison.

As per reports, Park was found guilty of several corruption charges, abuse of power and coercion.

The court said the defendant abused her authority as president, resulting in a big confusion in state order and an unprecedented expulsion of the president.

It has also fuelled 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.

Park, the daughter of a former military dictator, was not present in court when she was sentenced and fined 18 billion won ($16.8 million), having claimed she was sick.

Earlier, South Korean lawmakers voted to impeach Park, but she refused to resign offering instead an apology while denying any legal wrongdoing.

Outside the court, hundreds of supporters of Park had gathered to watch the verdict on a large screen, waving Korean and USA flags and calling for her release.

Park was impeached in late 2016 and then officially removed from office past year.

However, the court rejected the allegation that Samsung made any clear or implied request in return for its donation to Choi's non-profit organizations. She had boycotted most sessions of the trial in protest at being held in custody.

She was impeached in March 2017 following mass protests.

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