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Former S. Korean President Park Lands in Prison

Former S. Korean President Park Lands in PrisonFormer S. Korean President Park Lands in Prison

South Korea's disgraced former president Park Geun-hye was jailed for 24 years on Friday for corruption, closing out a dramatic fall from grace for the country's first woman leader who became a figure of public fury and ridicule.

The sentence followed a trial lasting more than 10 months which ended with Park being found guilty on multiple criminal charges, including bribery and abuse of power, AFP reported.

"The amount of bribery the accused received or demanded in collaboration with Choi amounts to more than 23 billion won [$21.7 million]," Judge Kim Se-Yoon said, referring to Park's secret confidante and long-time friend Choi Soon-sil. "I sentence the accused to 24 years in prison and 18 billion won in fines."

Park, 66, had boycotted most of the trial in protest at being held in custody. She was not present in court for Friday's judgment which, in a rare move, was broadcast live on television.

The daughter of assassinated dictator Park Chung-hee, Park took office in 2013 as a conservative icon who cast herself in the role of daughter of the nation incorruptible and beholden to none.

Less than four years later, she was impeached, stripped of all her powers and ousted from office on the back of months-long mass protests that brought millions onto the streets of Seoul and other cities.

The trigger was a snowballing graft scandal involving Park and Choi and accusations of graft, influence-peddling and taking bribes from corporate bigwigs in exchange for policy favors.

 

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