South Korean court has found former President Park Geun-Hye guilty on multiple counts of abuse of power, bribery, and coercion and sentenced her to 24 years in prison.
Park’s conviction brings to close a corruption scandal which gripped South Korea, upending the country’s politics and implicating some of the country’s most powerful figures as Park, the daughter of assassinated dictator Park Chung-hee, faced a total of 18 charges.
The court ruled that Park colluded with her old friend, Choi Soon-sil, to receive tens of billions of won from major conglomerates such as Samsung and Lotte to help Choi’s family and fund non-profit foundations owned by her.
“The President abused the power which was given to her by the citizens,” the judge said, adding a tough sentence was needed to send a firm message to the country’s future leaders.
Prosecutors had asked for Park to receive a 30-year sentence. Park was found guilty of 16 of the 18 charges she faced, related to a massive influence-peddling case that removed her from office last year. As well as the prison sentence she was also fined $17 million.