JAKARTA - The Supreme Court sentenced former President of South Korea (South Korea), Park Geun-hye to 20 years in prison. He was found guilty of bribery and other corruption charges. Park Geun-hye underwent a scandalous period in his leadership, including impeachment.
The decision reinforces the reduced prison sentence given to Park Geun-hye in July 2020. Initially he was sentenced to about 30 years in prison. Quoting the BBC, Thursday, January 14, 2021, the high court then reduced the fine and the sentence.
Prosecutors have also tried to appeal the reduction. The court also strengthened the fine against Park Geun-hye by 18 billion won or around Rp.229 billion.
Park Geun-hye became the country's first democratically elected president. But he was also impeached and forced to resign. In 2018, he was found guilty of 16 of 18 charges, most of which were related to bribery and extortion.
The court ruled that Park Geun-hye had colluded with his close friend Choi Soon-sil to pressure electronics giant conglomerates Samsung and retail chain Lotte to give millions of dollars to the foundation run by Choi Soon-sil.
Park Geun-hye was also convicted of forcing the company to sign a lucrative deal with the company owned by Choi Soon-sil. He was also shown to have given gifts to Choi Soon-sil and her daughter.
Samsung's de facto leader, Lee Jae-yong - also known as Jay Y Lee - is also reported to have given a horse to Choi Soon-sil's daughter, Chung Yoo-ra, who is a horse rider. Lee Jae-yong was sentenced to prison, but only served five months before his release, when the appeals court reduced and suspended his sentence.
The close friendship of Park Geun-hye and Choi Soon-sil is also said to be part of Park Geun-hye paying a debt of gratitude to his late spiritual adviser, who was Choi Soon-sil's father.
The two men were so close, Park Geun-hye leaked state secrets to Choi Soon-sil. Even a TV station in South Korea, JTBC, managed to reveal an information on Choi Soon-sil's tablet containing Park Geun-hye's speeches that Soon-sil edited on her wish.
Choi Soon-sil was also involved in the president's policies, so the schedule for the presidential press conference was all controlled by Choi Soon-sil. Park Geun-hye is not the only former president who has been arrested for corruption. In 2018, former South Korean president Lee Myung-bak was charged with corruption on charges of accepting bribes while in office.
The other two, Chun Doo-hwan and Roh Tae-woo, were convicted of treason and corruption in the 1990s. In 2009, former South Korean president Roh Moo-hyun committed suicide when he was under investigation for corruption.
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