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International News, Seoul

S. Korean court upholds prison term for ex-president Park

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — South Korea’s Supreme Court on Thursday upheld a 20-year prison term for former President Park Geun-hye over bribery and other crimes as it wrapped up a historic...

20 hours ago

South Korea ’s Supreme Court has upheld a 20-year prison term for former President Park Geun-hye, the country’s first female leader. If the conservative icon doesn’t receive a special pardon, she could spend decades in prison for bribery and other crimes.

SEOUL , South Korea (AP) — South Korea ’s Supreme Court on Thursday upheld a 20-year prison term for former President Park Geun-hye over bribery and other crimes as it wrapped up a historic...

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — South Korea’s Supreme Court on Thursday upheld a 20-year prison term for former President Park Geun-hye over bribery and other crimes as it wrapped up a historic corruption case that marked a striking fall from grace for the country’s first female leader and conservative icon.

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The ruling means Park, who was ousted from office and arrested in 2017, could potentially serve a combined 22 years behind bars, following a separate conviction for illegally meddling in her party’s candidate nominations ahead of parliamentary elections in 2016.

But the finalizing of her prison term also makes her eligible for a special presidential pardon, a looming possibility as the country’s deeply split electorate approaches the next presidential election in March 2022.President Moon Jae-in, a liberal who won the presidential by-election following Park’s removal, has yet to directly address the possibility of freeing his predecessor. Moon has recently seen his approval ratings sink to new lows over economic problems, political scandals and rising coronavirus infections.

At least one prominent member of Moon’s Democratic Party, chairman Lee Nak-yon, has raised the idea of pardoning Park and another imprisoned former president, Lee Myung-bak, who’s serving a 17-year term over his own corruption charges, as a gesture for “national unity.”

Park, 68, has described herself a victim of political revenge. She has refused to attend her trials since October 2017 and didn’t attend Thursday’s ruling. Her lawyer didn’t return calls seeking comment.Moon’s office didn’t have an immediate response to the ruling.

Park, the daughter of slain military dictator Park Chung-hee, was convicted of colluding with her longtime confidante, Choi Soon-sil, to take millions of dollars in bribes and extortion money from some of the country’s largest business groups, including Samsung, while she was in office from 2013 to 2016.

She was also indicted on charges of accepting illegally monthly funds from her spy chiefs that were diverted out of the agency’s budget.Following weekslong protests by millions, Park was impeached by lawmakers in December 2016 and officially removed from office in March 2017 after the Constitutional Court upheld the impeachment.

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It wasn’t immediately clear how Thursday’s ruling would affect the legal saga of billionaire Samsung scion Lee Jae-yong. The 52-year-old chairman of Samsung Electronics is facing a ruling at the Seoul High Court next week in a retrial over charges that he bribed Park and Choi to win government support for a 2015 merger between two Samsung affiliates that helped strengthen his control over the country’s largest business group.

Prosecutors are seeking a nine-year prison term for Lee, who has been separately indicted on charges of stock price manipulation, breach of trust and auditing violations in relation to the merger. Lee’s lawyers have portrayed him as a victim of presidential power abuse and described the 2015 deal was part of “normal business activity.”

Choi is currently serving an 18-year prison sentence.Park originally faced a prison term of more than 30 years before the Supreme Court sent her cases back to a lower court in 2019.The Seoul High Court in 2018 had sentenced her to 25 years in prison after reviewing her of bribery, extortion, abuse of power and other convictions together.

ADVERTISEMENTBut the Supreme Court in October 2019 ordered the Seoul High Court to deal with Park’s bribery charge separately from other charges, based on a law requiring so for cases involving a president or other elected officials, even when the alleged crimes are committed together.

The High Court had handed Park a five-year term over the spy fund charges in July 2019, but the Supreme Court also ordered a retrial on the case in November, instructing the lower court to more broadly apply a charge of causing losses in state funds.Prosecutors appealed after the Seoul High Court handed Park a 20-year term in July last year after merging the two cases.

If Park gets to fully serve her term, she will be released in 2039 at the age of 87. Read more: The Associated Press »

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South Korea again setting the example. Trump should be watching this. do the crime, do the time. why is this such a difficult concept for some to grasp? sadly, SoKor has had way too many corrupt ex presidents and have gotten way too much practice at jailing them. :( oh and suicides by political figures.. sigh...

I bet her male predecessor has done worst than they are Accusing her of America - your turn I bet Trump shit himself when he heard this today. Trump should pardon her...too tRUMP is next. In the USA, she'd be given awards & bags of cash. LiryOnni sería un gran video de comentar. Trump should be next realDonaldTrump if Americans had any balls

if she's actually guilty why should she be pardoned? Leaders should be held to even higher standards regarding following the law and having good moral character. maybe america is the land of the free but insurrection is not the same. Her prison term also makes her eligible for a special presidential pardon.

Don't do crime if you can't do the time. Whatever it takes to GET dude! Orange🍊45 should not be allowed to RUN AGAIN for any office ..& TAXPAYERS should not PAY for a pension , lifetime Secret Service ,travel benefits, etc . ALL the dude should get is PRISON TIME for COVID deaths,caged babies,RAPE, INSURRECTION...etc.

Next former leader heading to prison: Donald Trump!!! Can’t wait to see him in shackles!!! Power corrupts. What about Trump? Justice applied in South Korea - while here in America, 10... 10 GOP representatives were willing to do condemn a president that incited an insurgent attack on our government. More like it should be, but here in Nigeria they receive accolades in praises. Sickening!

The number of people that think American corruption is only 1 person deep is hilarious, if not alarming. Can this one happened in Nigeria. NigeriaGov OfficialAPCNg OfficialPDPNig SPNigeria femigbaja I pray one day our judiciary will be bold enough to uphold d law because as it is, d judiciary is enabling all d negatives against d Federal Republic of Nigeria. No justice for corruption in Nigeria💔💔

We'll see your president's bribery charges and raise you one insurrection. America: hold my beer. Arresting ex-president in South Korea is quite common. 从小不听话的我奶奶说在不听语把你移民到韩国去总统原来是这样5个当选6个岀问题…唉闹心..? Conservative. Oh look, a legitimate constitutional republic. Funny how holding someone accountable for their actions makes that obvious.

2021 is the year of consequences for conservatives. Well deserved QueenBatBen1. The moment they entered there, it looks like they are the owner of the world. It serves her right.SouthKorea. It's aways these right wing criminals huh Foreshadowing much? Hope for Trump sharing a similar fate. Come on SDNY

Oh? Just imagine where trump would end up if the u.s. actually had the stones to act responsibly like this. Hey, we got a guy & a bunch of his buddies just like that over here! Sure is nice to see a country putting their corrupt leaders in jail. Kinda like ole long mouth resident Thump acts. America, take notes...This is how to handle gov corruptions....

Do the crime do the time, no pardons should be allowed Hint hint The jokes here are just too easy. We can all just think it 😊 Can we be like South Korea when it comes to criminal presidents? Sihlulwa yini MYANC ? Moon is not a liberal, he is secretly a commie. China’s very own Korean lap dog oh look. The next time we talk about a leader going to prison it’ll be about t*ump!

What a weird country, they should respect their elites like we do If she committed bribery and other crimes, she should spend decades in jail. He will be. After Jan. 20 lol Trump soon JoeBiden little glimpse to what your future holds? Nice, if she's guilty. The way shits done