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South Korean President Park, sentenced to 24 years in prison for corruption

Ⓒ POOL/AFP/Archivos – Jeon Heon-Kyun – | First elected President of South Korea, Park, who was dismissed and detained in March 2017, was found guilty of corruption, abuse of power and coercion by the Seoul Central District Court

South Korean President Park Geun-hye was sentenced Friday by a court in Seoul to 24 years in prison in the trial opened after the scandal that led to his dismissal last year.

The first woman elected president of South Korea, Park, who was dismissed and detained in March 2017, was found guilty of corruption, abuse of power and coercion by the Seoul Central District Court, which also imposed a fine of 18,000 million of won (13 million euros, 17 million dollars).

Judge Kim Se-yoon said Park had forced South Korean companies to pay tens of millions of won to two foundations controlled by his shadow confidant and “40-year-old friend” Choi Soon-sil.

“The defendant illegally used her presidential authority to demand Choi to force companies to give money to the foundations,” the judge said.

“The companies were forced to give significant sums of money and the defendant let Choi control the foundations when he had no right to do so.”

“I condemn the defendant to 24 years in prison and 18,000 million won.”

The eldest daughter of military dictator Park Chung-hee, who agreed in 2013 to the supreme office presenting herself as the incorruptible “daughter of the nation,” was swept up in a scandal that highlighted again the complex links between local political power and the big conglomerates.

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