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

  • NY sisters inspired by Khmer heritage

    Growing up in Brooklyn, New York, Cambodian-American sisters Edo and Eyen Chorm have always felt a deep affinity for their Cambodian heritage and roots. When the pair launched their own EdoEyen namesake jewellery brand in June, 2020, they leaned heavily into designs inspired by ancient Khmer

  • Schools drawn into Manet degree row

    Prime Minister Hun Sen stepped into the Hun Manet-Sam Rainsy war of words over the validity of Manet’s degree from the US Military Academy at West Point, set off by Rainsy’s claims that Manet had received a “second-class degree” or “honorary degree”. Hun

  • Cambodia records first Omicron community case

    The Ministry of Health on January 9 reported 30 new Covid-19 cases, 29 of which were imported and all were confirmed to be the Omicron variant. The ministry also reported 11 recoveries and no new deaths. Earlier on January 9, the ministry also announced that it had detected the Kingdom's

  • The effects of the USD interest rate hike on Cambodian economy

    Experts weigh in on the effect of a potential interest rate expansion by the US Federal Reserve on a highly dollarised Cambodia Anticipation of the US Federal Reserve’s interest rate hike in March is putting developing economies on edge, a recent blog post by

  • PM eyes Myanmar peace troika

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has suggested that ASEAN member states establish a tripartite committee or diplomatic troika consisting of representatives from Cambodia, Brunei and Indonesia that would be tasked with mediating a ceasefire in Myanmar. The premier also requested that Nippon Foundation chairman Yohei Sasakawa

  • Kampot tourism quay ‘90% done’

    Construction on Kampot International Tourism Port – a 4ha quay in Teuk Chhou district about 6km west of Kampot town – has fallen off track, reaching 90 per cent completion, according to a senior Ministry of Tourism official last week. The project is now planned to be finished