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S Korea court upholds ex-leader's 20-year jail term

14 Jan 2021 12:25, Somoy English Desk
S Korea court upholds ex-leader's 20-year jail term
S Korea court upholds ex-leader's 20-year jail term

South Korea's Supreme Court has upheld a 20-year jail term for former President Park Geun-hye who was found guilty of abuse of power and coercion.

The ruling on Thursday upheld a reduced jail term given to Park in July after she was originally sentenced to serve a prison term of around 30 years.

Prosecutors had tried to appeal against that reduction, reports BBC.

Park, South Korea's first female president, was toppled from power in 2017 over a vast corruption scandal.

The court on Thursday also upheld her fine of 18bn won (£12m, $17m).

The former president was her country's first democratically elected leader to be forced from office due to graft in a fallout that also landed two conglomerate heads in prison.

She was initially sentenced to around 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.

What was she convicted of?
Park was South Korea's first democratically-elected president to be impeached.

In 2018 she 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.

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