Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Prosecutors demand 30 years in prison for former South Korean President Park Geun-hye

Prosecutors demand 30 years in prison for former South Korean President Park Geun-hye

South Korean ousted leader Park Geun-hye (L) arrives at a court in Seoul on August 25, 2017. Kim Honh-ji/PoolAFP
South Korean ousted leader Park Geun-hye (L) arrives at a court in Seoul on August 25, 2017. Kim Honh-ji/PoolAFP

Prosecutors demand 30 years in prison for former South Korean President Park Geun-hye

by Kim So-hyun

SEOUL (The Korea Herald/ANN) - Prosecutors on Tuesday demanded 30 years in prison for former President Park Geun-hye, who was ousted in a massive corruption scandal that toppled her from office early last year.

The court is expected to deliver its verdict as early as late March.

Park did not attend the hearing at the Seoul Central District Court where prosecutors made the sentencing recommendation. She has been refusing to attend her trial after the court extended her detention in October for another six months. The former president has been in custody since late March last year.

Park was indicted in April last year on 18 charges including bribery, abuse of power, coercion and leaking government secrets.

She is accused of having collected or demanded 59.2 billion won ($55.3 million) in bribes from three conglomerates -- Samsung, Lotte and SK -- for herself or her longtime confidante Choi Soon-sil.

Prosecutors accused Park of colluding with Choi to coerce conglomerates to make donations worth over 77.4 billion won to two nonprofit foundations allegedly controlled by Choi.

Park was also indicted for allowing Choi, who held no official position in the government, to meddle in state affairs.

The Seoul Central District Court sentenced Choi to 20 years in prison earlier this month, in addition to a fine of 18 billion won and forfeiture of 7.29 billion won, on conviction of bribery, abuse of power and coercion. The prosecution had sought 25 years in prison for Choi, with a fine of 118.2 billion won and forfeiture of 7.7 billion won.

Park was ousted from office on March 10 last year as the Constitutional Court upheld her impeachment by the National Assembly.

Earlier this month, the court ruled on several figures implicated in the influence-peddling scandal, including business tycoons.

Samsung Group heir apparent Lee Jae-yong, who was detained for nearly a year on charges of bribery, was released after an appeals court reduced his jail term to a suspended sentence on Feb. 5. Lee had been sentenced to five years in prison in August last year for giving 8.8 billion won to Park and Choi in return for government backing of the merger of two Samsung companies, which helped him strengthen his control over Samsung Group.

Lotte Group Chairman Shin Dong-bin was put behind bars on Feb. 13 after the court convicted him of bribing Park to regain the license for a lucrative duty-free business. Shin was sentenced to 2 1/2 years in prison, and forfeiture of 7 billion won, the same amount he offered to a nonprofit foundation controlled by Choi in exchange for the license.

Last week, the court sentenced Park’s former presidential aide Woo Byung-woo to 2 1/2 years in prison for dereliction of duty, abuse of power and perjury. The court found the ex-senior presidential secretary for civil affairs guilty of neglecting his duty to look into Choi’s wrongdoings and playing an active role in concealing them.

The prosecution last month indicted Park on additional charges of bribery and violating laws on elections and the state spy agency. Prosecutors suspect that the National Intelligence Service provided Park with monthly kickbacks worth around 3.8 billion won in total, which she used for personal purposes or illicit political activities. The additional charges are being dealt with in a separate trial.

MOST VIEWED

  • Crumbling prices, rent ruffle condo segment

    The prolonged decline in international arrivals to Cambodia intensified by renewed Covid-19 fears has driven down condominium sales prices and rental rates in Phnom Penh, a research report said. CBRE Cambodia, the local affiliate of US commercial real estate services and investment firm CBRE Group

  • Over $3M in traffic fines collected in two months

    Traffic police officers collected over $3 million in fines throughout the Kingdom during the past two months when officers strictly enforced the law in accordance with a May sub-decree, officials said. As incentives, law enforcement officers received between 200,000 and two million riel ($50 to $500) each. The figures

  • More than 10,000 workers suspended

    More than 10,000 workers at 18 factories in Svay Rieng province have been suspended because of Covid-19, said provincial deputy governor Ros Pharith. Home to 11 special economic zones, Pharith said Svay Rieng has not been spared as the pandemic takes a toll on the global economy. “There

  • Nod given for school exams

    The Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport announced that State-run higher educational institutions can hold examinations to end the academic year, while private schools can organise grade 9 and grade 12 examinations at their premises for two days. However, private institutions have to take measures to prevent

  • Oz lauds Kingdom’s passage of money laundering laws

    In a press release published by the Australian embassy in Phnom Penh on Monday, the country applauded Cambodia’s stance on transnational crimes as well as its promulgation of an anti-money laundering law and a law on combating proliferation financing. The praise came after King

  • Lotus face masks designed to cover globe

    A French designer in Cambodia has produced ecological face masks from lotus fibre to supply local and international markets with an eye on preserving ancestral techniques and supporting Cambodian women in rural communities. During a trip to Asia, Awen Delaval, an eco-friendly fashion designer, was

  • Accused not treated equally, says CCHR

    The Cambodia Centre for Human Rights (CCHR) has urged the Court of Appeal to do more to ensure that an accused’s right to a fair trial is fully respected. In a bulletin released on Monday, the CCHR said it had monitored 273 cases at the

  • Fish, frogs to boost local food supply

    The government has disbursed more than $4.5 million to boost aquaculture production and domestic market supply amid the Covid-19 pandemic. Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Veng Sakhon told The Post on Monday that in boosting agricultural production, the ministry has received financing from development partners

  • Planning ministry hands out cash to 420,000 poor families in Kingdom

    The Ministry of Planning has identified 20,000 more poor families in the country, bringing the total to over 580,000, while over 420,000 of them have received the government’s cash assistance. In the meantime, many social security cards from families not deemed to be poor have been revoked.

  • Nature in focus at inaugural film and photo festival

    The first Cambodian Wildlife Photo and Film Festival – an event celebrating the conservation of nature through the eyes of wildlife photographers, nature enthusiasts and conservation experts – is scheduled for July 18-26 at Fauna in Focus’ Nature Discovery Centre in Siem Reap. The festival will be