Former South Korean president, Park Geun-hye, has been sentenced to 24 years in prison by a South Korean court on multiple counts.
The charges included abuse of power, bribery, leaking of official documents and coercion among other things. The 66-year-old was found guilty of 16 of the 18 charges she faced, related to a massive influence-peddling case that removed her from office last year.
"The President abused the power which was given to her by the citizens," the judge said.
The judge also added that a tough sentence was needed to send a firm message to the country's future leaders. Prosecutors had early on asked for Park to receive a 30-year sentence. Aside the sentence, she was also fined $17 million.
Park's conviction brings to close a corruption scandal which gripped the country (South Korea), upending the country's politics and implicating some of the country's most powerful figures.
Meanwhile, supporters of the former president have staged a rally outside the Seoul Central District Court in Seoul today, April 6, to demand Park’s release. However, Park’s lawyer’s are expected to appeal her sentence.
The former president was not in the Seoul Central District Court to hear the verdict. Park and her lawyers refused to participate after the court decided to broadcast the judgment, the first time this has happened in South Korea, after a law was passed last year to enable it.
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