South Korea's Park Gets 24 Years for Corruption

South Korea's former president is probably spending the rest of her life behind bars

The former president was not in the Seoul Central District Court to hear the verdict.

A South Korean court found former President Park Guen-Hye guilty of bribery, coercion and power abuse and sent her behind bars for 24 years in a landmark ruling meant to send a message to future leaders, CNN reported Friday.

That's also when she fell under the influence of cult leader Choi Tae-min, which raised questions. "Her fines were calculated based on the laws she has violated".

The court counted 7.3 billion won as bribes she took from Samsung. Park can now appeal to a higher court. She was found guilty of abuse of power, coercion, fraud and bribery.

Citing a lack of evidence, the judges rejected prosecutors' allegations that Park sought bribes from Samsung in return for government help to solidify Jay Y. Lee's control of the conglomerate. The court said she leaked at least 14 state secrets to Choi.

Park was expelled from the LKP in November previous year after her impeachment and subsequent removal from office.

The scandal led to a parliamentary impeachment of Park in December 2016.

Surprising enough, Moon's office said Park's fate was disheartening not only for herself but the nation.

"When her crimes came into light one by one, it threw the country into confusion".

Kim said Park has shown no remorse for her wrongdoing and continued to pass responsibility to others with "unconvincing excuses".

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Park was Korea's first female president and the first president to be ousted.

In a first for South Korea, the sentencing was broadcast live on television - a sign of the intense public interest in the case.

She now has seven days in which to file an appeal.

Park was South Korea's first female head of state and the first elected leader to be ousted when she was impeached past year. She was sentenced to 24 years in prison, though prosecutors initially requested 30 years.

Park, the daughter of a former military dictator, was not present in court when she was sentenced and fined 18 billion won ($16.8 million), having claimed she was sick.

The heads of conglomerates involved in the scandal have also been jailed. She was tried separately and sentenced in February to 20 years in prison.

It has also fuelled the rise of the liberal Moon Jae-in, Park's previous political opponent who eventually replaced her as president after campaigning on a platform of a clean government.

"It's against fairness and justice if Park is to be released only serving her jail terms for two years while the people who colluded with still in prison", said Park of Minbyun.

The former leader was not in court on Friday for the verdict. Police said around 4,000 people gathered in the vicinity. "We will not forget today". "We have to remember the past lest it repeats itself".

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