Ousted president Park faces 30-year jail term

  • Ousted president Park faces 30-year jail term

Ousted president Park faces 30-year jail term

The South Korean prosecutor's office requested 30 years in prison today for former President Park Geun-hye, dismissed last year after a corruption scandal.

The 66-year-old Park is being tried on several counts of bribery, abuse of authority, coercion and leaking government secrets and allegations she used her office to coerce South Korea's major corporations into donating almost $70 million to two nonprofit corporations controlled by Choi Soon-sil, Park's close friend and confidant.

The prosecution also demanded that 66-year-old Pak penalty 118,5 billion won (89,6 million euros).

Huge family-run firms, known as chaebol, were asked to make payments to two funds, disguised as sports foundations, controlled by Ms Park's close friend, Choi Soon-sil.

The Seoul Central District Court earlier this month found Choi guilty of abuse of power, bribery and interfering in government business, sentencing her to 20 years in prison.

Park, who was removed from the presidency and then arrested following massive protests by millions of South Koreans in 2016, was not in attendance during the Tuesday court session.

They added Park became the first-ever Korean president to be impeached "and left an indelible stain on the Constitutional history" of the republic.

The verdict and sentence were seen as a potential pointer to the decision in Park's separate trial in the same court, because 15 of the 18 charges Choi faced mirror charges against the ex-president.

Park has vigorously maintained her innocence throughout the case and has been refusing to attend her trial, saying she is the victim of "political revenge". Some legal experts say the court could also directly issue a verdict without her presence in court. She will be sentenced on April 6.

The massive scandal cost Park her presidency and saw her indicted on 18 criminal charges nearly a year ago which have now swelled to 21.

Seoul Central District Court had also sentenced Shin Dong-bin, chairman of the country's fifth-largest conglomerate, Lotte Group, to two years and six months in prison in the same case. She enjoyed overwhelming support from conservatives who remember her father, staunch anti-communist dictator Park Chung-hee, as a hero whose aggressive industrial policies lifted the nation from the devastation of the 1950-53 Korean War and rescued millions from poverty.