South Korea's Park Geun-hye sentenced to 24 years in jail

Park Geun-hye was found guilty of bribery and abuse of power in a verdict issued on Friday.

    A South Korean court has sentenced former President Park Geun-hye to 24 years in prison after she was found guilty of corruption.

    The disgraced former president was found guilty of several corruption charges, abuse of power and coercion in a verdict issued on Friday. She was also fined $16m.

    It was alleged in the trial that Park, 66, colluded with a friend, Choi Soon-sil, and a former presidential aide, in pressuring big businesses to donate to two foundations set up to back her policy initiatives.

    She was also charged for soliciting bribes from the head of the Samsung Group for government favours.

    Park was acquitted on at least two of the charges, including abuse of power relating to forcing the Hyundai car company to run ads for the company owned by Choi. 

    The sentencing phase of the trial is under way.

    South Korean state news agency Yonhap reported that Park did not appear in the sentencing trial.

    She has been in prison for more than a year, but has refused to appear in court for most of her hearings.

    Impeached and removed from office

    Park is the third former South Korean leader to stand trial for corruption.

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    In December 2016, South Korean legislators overwhelmingly voted to impeach Park, but she refused to resign offering instead an apology while denying any legal wrongdoing.

    Three months later, the eight-member Constitutional Court then voted unanimously to remove her from office.

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

    She is the daughter of another president, Park Chung-hee, who seized power in 1961 and was assasinated eight years later.

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera News


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