Former president of South Korea jailed for corruption

Former president of South Korea jailed for corruption

Former president of South Korea jailed for corruption

Former South Korean President Park Geun-hye, has been found guilty of abuse of power and bribery and jailed for 24 years.The Seoul Central District Court pronounced both the guilty verdict and sentencing on live television.

Park is the daughter of deeply divisive dictator Park Chung-hee, who is revered by supporters as a hero who spearheaded South Korea's rapid economic rise in the 1960-70s. She was impeached by lawmakers that December and removed from office by a constitutional Court ruling in March 2017.

She has been sentenced to 24 years in prison - effectively a life sentence for the 66-year-old.

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She was also charged for soliciting bribes from the head of the Samsung Group for government favours. Park was also convicted of passing on presidential documents with sensitive information to Choi via one of her presidential aides.

Park's conservative supporters - majority middle aged and elderly - have been passionately rallying near the court and other parts of the city over the past year, although their gatherings have been much smaller than the earlier ones calling for Park's ouster.

The scandal has already led to the arrests, indictments and convictions of dozens of high-profile government officials and business leaders. A tragic figure after the separate assassinations of her mother and father in the 1970s, she rose to political prominence helped by nostalgia for her father's rule.

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They carried flags and banners reading: "Immediately release innocent President Park Geun-hye", and "Stop murderous political revenge". Their relationship has been the subject of intense public scrutiny amid allegations that Choi had undue influence over a nation's affairs through her connection with Ms Park.

The relations between the Koreas were bad while the conservative Park was in office as she took a hard line against the North over its nuclear and missile tests.

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

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A longtime friend and confidante of former President Park Geun-hye has reproached herself upon hearing news that Park received a heavy prison term over a massive corruption scandal that also involves the friend, sources in the judicial circle said Saturday.

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