20-year jail term for S Korea’s ex-president Park upheld...

Dhaka, Saturday   16 January 2021

20-year jail term for S Korea’s ex-president Park upheld

 International Desk daily-bangladesh.com

 Published: 12:34 PM, 14 January 2021   Updated: 12:37 PM, 14 January 2021

Park Geun-hye

Park Geun-hye

South Korea's Supreme Court upheld a 20-year jail term for former President Park Geun-hye who was found guilty of abuse of power and coercion. The court also upheld her fine of 18bn won (£12m, $17m).

The verdict on Thursday upheld a reduced jail term given to Park in July on appeal after she was originally sentenced to 30 years in prison. Prosecutors had tried to appeal against that reduction. 

68-year-old Park became her country's first democratically elected leader to be thrown out of office in 2017 over a vast corruption scandal. 

Park, South Korea's first female president, was initially sentenced to a total of 30 years in jail and fined 20bn won, but a high court later reduced the fine and the term - to 15 years for corruption with another five for abuse of power. 

Thursday's ruling by the country's top court is the final verdict in the case.

In 2018, the ex-leader was found guilty of 16 out of 18 charges, most of which related to bribery and coercion. The court ruled that she had colluded with her close friend, Choi Soon-sil, to pressure conglomerates such as electronics giant Samsung and retail chain Lotte to give millions of dollars to foundations run by Choi. 

She was also convicted of forcing companies to sign lucrative deals with firms owned by Choi and donate gifts to Choi and her daughter. In addition, Park was found guilty of leaking confidential presidential documents to Choi.

Park, the daughter of a military dictator, has always denied wrongdoing and refused to take part in any of the court proceedings.