South Korea’s top court upholds former leader’s 20-year prison sentence

Park was initially sentenced to 24 years in prison after she was discovered responsible on a number of counts of abuse of energy, bribery and coercion. Those prices associated to an enormous influence-peddling case that prompted widespread protests, implicated among the nation’s strongest figures and noticed her faraway from workplace in 2017.

Park’s 2018 sentence was lowered to twenty years final July following a retrial. Prosecutors appealed that sentence and requested a heavier penalty, however on Thursday, South Korea’s Supreme Court upheld Park’s 20-year jail time period, in accordance with a information launch from the court.

The Supreme Court is South Korea’s highest court, that means that Thursday’s determination is anticipated to be the top of Park’s authorized avenues to attraction her sentence.

Park must serve 22 years behind bars — she faces an extra two-year prison time period for a 2018 conviction for meddling within the nomination of candidates for Saenuri Party, a conservative political social gathering beforehand led by her.

“This is the conclusion of a state corruption affair which follows the people’s candlelight revolution, impeachment by the Assembly, and a judicial ruling. It is a manifestation of our democratic republic’s constitutional spirit and signifies advancement and maturity of Korean democracy,” South Korea’s presidential Blue House stated in a press release Thursday. “We must make sure to take this unfortunate event — the imprisonment of the former President — as a historical lesson and avoid repeating it.”

South Korea corruption scandal

The daughter of former dictator Park Chung-hee, Park Geun-hye turned South Korea’s first feminine President when she got here to energy in 2013.

But her time period was marred by controversy and in 2017, she turned the nation’s first democratically elected leader to be forcibly removed from office after the nation’s Constitutional Court upheld a parliamentary vote to question her.

That vote got here after tens of millions of South Koreans took to the streets over a interval of a number of months to demand Park’s ouster, after revelations emerged in regards to the undue affect wielded by her adviser and confidant, Choi Soon-sil, the daughter of a cult chief.

Shortly after Park was stripped of her workplace, she was arrested and placed on trial for soliciting bribes from main conglomerates within the nation, together with Samsung. In 2018, she went on trial over separate accusations that she obtained illicit funds from the National Intelligence Service.
Several others had been additionally implicated within the scandal. In 2018, Park’s confidant Choi was sentenced to 20 years in jail on 18 prices together with abuse of energy, coercion, fraud and bribe, and was fined $16.6 million.
In 2017, Samsung chief Lee Jae-yong was discovered responsible of bribery and different corruption prices and sentenced to 5 years in prison. In 2018 the next court lowered his sentence and suspended it for 4 years though he has since undergone a retrial of that cost and a verdict is anticipated subsequent week. In a related case, he was final 12 months indicted over a controversial 2015 merger that helped him tighten management over the corporate.

CNN’s Paula Hancocks, Yoonjung Seo and James Griffiths contributed to this report.

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