S. Korean court confirms 20-year term for ex-president Park

S. Korean court confirms 20-year term for ex-president Park

SEOUL – South Korea’s Supreme Courtroom on Thursday upheld a 20-year jail time period for former President Park Geun-hye over bribery and different crimes because it wrapped up a historic corruption case that marked a putting fall from grace for the nation’s first feminine chief and conservative icon.

The ruling means Park, who was ousted from workplace and arrested in 2017, doubtlessly serves a mixed 22 years behind bars, following a separate conviction for illegally meddling in her celebration’s candidate nominations forward of parliamentary elections in 2016.

However the finalizing of her jail time period additionally makes her eligible for a particular presidential pardon, a looming chance because the nation’s deeply-split citizens approaches the presidential election in March subsequent yr.

President Moon Jae-in, a liberal who gained the presidential by-election following Park’s removing, has but to immediately handle the potential of liberating his predecessor.

However at the very least one distinguished member of Moon’s Democratic Celebration, chairman Lee Nak-yon, has raised the thought of pardoning Park and one other imprisoned former president, Lee Myung-bak, who’s serving a 17-year time period over his personal corruption expenses, as a gesture for “nationwide unity.”

Park, 68, has described herself a sufferer of political revenge. She has refused to attend her trials since October 2017 and didn’t attend Thursday’s ruling.

The workplace of Moon, who has not too long ago seen his approval ranking sink to new lows over financial issues, political scandals and rising coronavirus infections, didn’t have a right away response to the ruling.

Park, the daughter of slain navy dictator Park Chung-hee, was convicted of colluding along with her longtime confidante, Choi Quickly-sil, to take thousands and thousands of {dollars} in bribes and extortion from a few of the nation’s largest enterprise teams, together with Samsung, whereas she was in workplace from 2013 to 2016.

She was additionally indicted on expenses of accepting illegally month-to-month funds from her spy chiefs that have been diverted out of the company’s funds.

Following weekslong protests by thousands and thousands, Park was impeached by lawmakers in December 2016 and formally faraway from workplace in March 2017 after the Constitutional Courtroom upheld the impeachment.

Park initially confronted a jail time period of greater than 30 years earlier than the Supreme Courtroom despatched her circumstances again to a decrease court docket in 2019.

The Seoul Excessive Courtroom in 2018 had sentenced her to 25 years in jail after reviewing her of bribery, extortion, abuse of energy and different convictions collectively.

However the Supreme Courtroom in October 2019 ordered the Seoul Excessive Courtroom to take care of Park’s bribery cost individually from different expenses, based mostly on a legislation requiring so for circumstances involving a president or different elected officers, even when the alleged crimes are dedicated collectively.

The Excessive Courtroom had handed Park a five-year time period over the spy fund expenses in July 2019, however the Supreme Courtroom additionally ordered a retrial on the case in November.

Prosecutors appealed after the Seoul Excessive Courtroom handed Park a 20-year time period in July final yr over the fees.

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