South Korea's Ex-President Sentenced To 24 Years For Corruption
07 April, 2018, 00:07 | Author: Essie Rivera
The two women were also convicted of taking bribes from some of those companies, including more than 7 billion won ($6.5 million) alone from Samsung.
Her supporters, mostly elderly South Koreans, have insisted on her innocence, holding weekend marches in downtown Seoul and shouting for her release.
Her guilty verdict is expected to drive calls for constitutional reform to limit South Korea's presidential powers, as fellow former leader Lee Myung-bak is now under investigation over a separate scandal. The court judged Park had also pressured three officials in the ministry who did not cooperate on blacklisting artists to step down.
In addition, Park was found guilty of leaking confidential presidential documents to Choi.
Park lawyer's are expected to appeal her sentence.
Park is the latest former leader of South Korea to run afoul of the law. It said Park was unaware that the money was in return for helping Samsung complete a merger of group firms that was needed for a smooth leadership succession.
Most of the money was meant to bankroll non-profit foundations run by Choi's family and confidants, and to fund the education of Choi's horse-riding daughter, the court said.
"When her crimes came into light one by one, it threw the country into confusion".
Park was Korea's first female president and the first president to be ousted.
Media reports indicate that they refused to appear because the court had chosen to broadcast the judgment live, the first time such would happen in South Korea.
In November 2016, during court hearings on her fate after public outcry calling for her ouster, her office confirmed that the president indeed bought Viagra during the visit to Kenya.
She contested her impeachment but was formally removed from office in March 2017, leading to the special election that seated the current president of South Korea, Moon Jae-in.
Mixed reactions greet sentencing of Park Geun-hye to 24 years in prison with fine of $16m in corruption case.
Prosecutors had charged Park with 18 counts, seeking a 30-year jail sentence with a fine of 118.5 billion won (111.4 million US dollars). Yet that was all undone by the scandal involving a close confidant and bribery, extortion and other allegations. The sentence was more lenient than the 30 years sought by prosecutors.
Park was accused of being unduly influenced by Choi.
She has been sentenced to 24 years in prison - effectively a life sentence for the 66-year-old.
Outside the court, hundreds of supporters of Park had gathered to watch the verdict on a large screen, waving Korean and U.S. flags and calling for the former president's release. Police said around 4,000 people gathered in the vicinity. "We will not forget today".
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