Park Geun-hye: The Supreme Court of South Korea has upheld the 20-year prison sentence of a former leader

Park was in the beginning Sentenced to 24 years in prison After being convicted of multiple counts of abuse of power, bribery and coercion. The accusations related to a large-scale influence-promoting case that sparked widespread protests, implicating some of the country’s most powerful figures and seeing them removed from their position in 2017.

Park’s sentence in 2018 was reduced to 20 years last July after a retrial. Prosecutors appealed the ruling and demanded a tougher sentence, but on Thursday, South Korea’s Supreme Court upheld Park’s 20-year prison sentence, according to a press release from the court.

The Supreme Court is South Korea’s highest court, which means that Thursday’s decision is expected to be the end of Park’s legal avenues to appeal the ruling.

Park will have to serve 22 years behind bars – she faces an additional two-year prison sentence for conviction in 2018 of interfering with the nomination of candidates for the Signori Party, the conservative political party she previously leads.

“This is the conclusion of the state corruption case following the candlelight people’s revolution, the removal of parliament, and a judicial decision. It is a manifestation of the constitutional spirit of our democratic republic and indicates the progress and maturity of Korean democracy.” The Blue House said in a statement Thursday. “We must make sure that this unfortunate event – the imprisonment of the former president – is taken as a historical lesson and not repeated,” he added.

Corruption scandal in South Korea

Park Geun-hee, daughter of former dictator Park Chung-hee, became South Korea’s first female president when she came to power in 2013.

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But her tenure was marred by controversy and In 2017, Became the state The first democratically elected leader forcibly removed from office After the country’s Constitutional Court A parliamentary vote was supported To isolate it.

The vote came after millions of South Koreans took to the streets over several months to demand the ouster of Park, after discoveries emerged about the undue influence of her advisor and confidant, Choi Sun-sil, the daughter of a sect leader.

Soon after Park was stripped of her office, she was Arrested He was prosecuted for soliciting bribes from the country’s major conglomerates, including Samsung. In 2018, she went to trial over separate accusations that she had received illegal money from the National Intelligence Service.
Several other people were also involved in the scandal. In 2018, Park’s close associate Choi was sentenced 20 years in prison 18 counts including abuse of power, coercion, fraud and bribery, and a fine of $ 16.6 million.
In 2017, Samsung President Lee Jae Young was found guilty of bribery and corruption charges and sentenced to five years in prison. In 2018, a supreme court commuted his sentence and suspended him for four years, although he has since undergone a retrial on this charge and a verdict is expected next week. at Related issue, He was indicted last year over a controversial 2015 merger that helped him tighten control of the company.

CNN’s Paula Hankox, Youngong Seo, and James Griffiths contributed to this report.

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