On Thursday, South Korea’s Supreme Court almost sentenced former President Park Geun-hye to 20 years in prison in the corruption scandal that led to her removal from power. The decision came at the end of judicial proceedings that witnessed several trials and appeals, including a session of the Supreme Court.
She was the first woman to reach the presidency in South Korea and was formally charged in 2017 after mass demonstrations against her rule. The following year, she was convicted of taking bribes and abusing power and was sentenced to 30 years in prison. After a number of appeals trials, she was retried, and her sentence was reduced to 20 years in prison.
On Thursday, the case was presented for the second time before the Supreme Court, which ruled to confirm the twenty-year prison sentence.
It also confirmed a penalty with fines and confiscations amounting to 21.5 billion won (19.5 million dollars). Park, 67, boycotted all sessions, deeming them biased against her, and did not attend Thursday’s session. In a separate case, she was sentenced to two years in prison, for violating election laws.
Talia faces a total of 22 years behind bars and maybe in her eighties when her sentence expires.
Park’s first trial lasted ten months and shed light on relations between major industrial groups and the political power in South Korea, as Park and her close friend Choi Sun-sil were accused of receiving bribes from managers of major companies, including Samsung Electronics, in exchange for preferential treatment.
It was succeeded by left-wing President Moon Jae, taking advantage of popular anger against her and her conservative party.