Former South Korean President Park Geun-hye, has been found guilty of abuse of power and bribery and jailed for 24 years.
“The accused illegally used her presidential authority upon private requests from Choi to coerce companies into donating money to the foundations,” “The companies were forced to donate a large sum of money … and the accused let Choi control the foundations although she (Choi) had no right to do so.” Judge Kim Se-Yoon said.
The Seoul Central District Court pronounced both the guilty verdict and sentencing today on live television. Park was absent in court, but her flag-waving supporters gathered outside.
Park, the daughter of assassinated dictator Park Chung-hee, faced a total of 18 charges. The court ruled that Park colluded with her old friend, Choi Soon-sil, to receive tens of billions of won from major conglomerates such as Samsung and Lotte to help Choi’s family and fund non-profit foundations owned by her.
Prosecutors sought a 30-year sentence and a 118.5 billion won ($112 million) fine for Park, after indicting her on charges that included bribery, abuse of power and coercion.
Park was impeached and arrested in March 2017. The spectacular fall from grace of a former conservative icon who cast herself in the role of an incorruptible “Daughter of the Nation” has captivated South Koreans either side of the political divide.