South Korean court jails former president Park Geun-hye for 24 years

Former South Korea president Park Geun-hye guilty of corruption

South Korea ex-president Park gets 24 years' jail in corruption scandal

A South Korean court on Friday sentenced the impeached President Park Geun-hye to 24 years in jail and fined her 18 billion won (17 million US dollars) over a series of corruption counts.

Park was also charged with taking bribes totalling 29.8 billion won from Samsung, the world's biggest maker of smartphones and semiconductors. "Her fines were calculated based on the laws she has violated".

The trial which lasted more than 10 months ended with Park being found guilty on multiple criminal charges, including bribery and abuse of power.

According to The Korean Times, companies involved in the scandal included Hyundai Motor, Samsung, Lotte Group, telecom company KT and steelmaker POSCO.

"Park, denying all of the charges, did not appear to be remorseful about her wrongdoings", said Kim Se-yoon, the lead judge in the case.

Choi Soon-sil is accused of influencing Park to move money into organizations under her control and getting her daughter into an elite university. She was found guilty of abuse of power, coercion, fraud and bribery.

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Media reports say that Choi's father was a cult leader and allegedly used his ties with Park to take bribes from government officials and businessmen. The court said she leaked at least 14 state secrets to Choi.

Park's supporters - mainly older conservative voters - have staged street demonstrations nearly every weekend to protest against her impeachment and imprisonment.

Moon's office said Park's fate was "heartbreaking" not only for herself but for the country, and added that history that was not remembered would be repeated. The court proceeding had been broadcast live on television for the first time since a law allowing broadcasts was passed past year. "However, considering that the entire population of South Korea is affected by her crime, this seemingly heavy sentence is actually reasonable".

Park, 66, who was impeached past year over an influence peddling scandal that led to protests by hundreds of thousands of people on the streets of the capital, didn't show up at court. A South Korean court on Friday sentenced the impeached President Park Geun-hye to 24 years in jail with a fine of 18 billion won (17 million US dollars) for corruption. Yet that was all undone by the scandal involving a close confidant and bribery, extortion and other allegations. He was sentenced to five years in prison but served only six months before being released.

The court said Park also colluded with senior government officials to blacklist artists critical of her government and passed on presidential documents with sensitive information to Choi via one of her presidential aides. He was sentenced to 2.5 years in prison.

The former leader was not in court on Friday for the verdict.

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