SEOUL, South Korea (AP) – South Korea’s top court on Thursday sentenced former President Park Geun-hae to 20 years in prison for bribery and other crimes as the case settled a historic corruption case. Considered as a waiver for the country First female leader and conservative icon
The ruling means Park, who was stripped of office and arrested in 2017, could serve for 22 years combined after a separate conviction of illegally meddling in the party’s candidate nomination before the ruling. Election to Parliament in 2016
But her final sentence in prison also gives her the privilege of a special presidential pardon, a possibility that will arise as the nation̵7;s deeply divided constituency draws closer to the next presidential elections. March 2022
Liberal President Moon Jae-in, who won the presidential election following Park’s removal, has not directly addressed the possibility of dismissing his ancestors. Moon has recently seen his approval rating drop to New lows on economic woes, political scandals and increased coronavirus infection.
Conservative politicians have urged Moon to release Park and another convicted former president named Lee Myung-bak, who served 17 years for his own corruption. At least one prominent member of the Moon’s Democratic Party, Lee Nakon, endorsed the idea of forgiving the former president as a gesture of “Unity in the Nation”
Park, 68, described himself as the victim of political revenge. She has refused to attend her trial since October 2017 and has not attended Thursday’s hearing. Her lawyer did not return calls seeking comment.
The collapse of Park and Lee Myung-buck severely ended South Korea’s decades-long presidential defense, prompting criticism of the country being too powerful and easily misused; and Often uncensored in the hands of elected leaders.
Almost all former presidents or their family members and their aides have been caught in a scandal near the end of their term or after their retirement.
One president, Park Jung Hee’s dictatorial father, was assassinated in 1979, another former president, Roh Muhyun, who was Moon’s longtime friend and political adviser, jumped to death. In 2009 amid allegations that members of his family Bribes from businessmen during the presidency
Moon’s spokesman Kang Min-seok said Park Geun-hye’s trial was a “thriving and growing” of South Korea’s democracy. But added that the former president’s imprisonment for crimes is a “unfortunate” history that should never be repeated. The president’s officials avoided specific answers when asked about the possibility of Moon pardoning Park and Lee.
Democratic spokesman Shin Youngdae urged Park to apologize about The “irrefutable shame” she left in the country’s history.
Park was convicted of colluding with longtime confidant Choi Sunsil to take bribes and extort millions of dollars from some of the country’s biggest business groups, including Samsung, while she held her home. Position from 2013 to 2016
She has also been indicted for illegally receiving monthly payments from her spy boss, which was deviated from the agency’s budget.
After several weeks of protests, Park was sued by lawmakers in December 2016 and was officially stripped of office in March 2017 after the Constitutional Court confirmed the lawsuit.
It was not immediately clear how the trial on Thursday will affect billionaire Samsung billionaire Lee Jae-young’s legal impact, the 52-year-old Samsung Electronics vice president, is facing a hearing at the Seoul High Court next week in a hearing. Sentencing on charges in which he bribed Park and Choi to win government support for a 2015 merger between two Samsung subsidiaries, which helped strengthen control. Above the largest business group of the country
Prosecutors are seeking a nine-year jail term for Lee, who has been indicted separately for manipulating stock prices, breach of trust and audit violations related to the merger. Lee’s attorney described him as the victim of the president’s abuse of power and described the 2015 deal as part of “Normal business activities”
Choi is serving an 18-year prison term.
Park originally faced more than 30 years in prison before the Supreme Court sent her case back to lower court in 2019.
The Seoul High Court in 2018 sentenced her to 25 years in prison after investigating bribery, extortion, abuse of power and other common beliefs.
But the Supreme Court in October 2019 ordered the Seoul High Court to deal with Park’s bribery charges separately from other charges set by law for cases involving the president or other elected officials, despite the fact that it was established. Joint crime is followed.
The High Court filed a five-year lawsuit against Park for the spying fund charges in July 2019, but the Supreme Court also ordered a November hearing, ordering the lower court to use the allegations that lost state funds in More broad.
Prosecutors filed an appeal after the Seoul High Court handed Park his 20-year tenure last July after merging the two cases.
If Park fulfilled her sentence, she would be released in 2039 at the age of 87.