A South Korean high court on Friday extended the jail sentence of former President Park Geun-hye by one year, reported Reuters. Park is accused of bribery, extortion, abuse of power, and other charges.
In April, a district court had sentenced her to 24 years in jail and fined her 18 billion won (Rs 116 crore). The high court on Friday also increased the fine amount to 20 billion won (Rs 124 crore) after reaching a conclusion that the 66-year-old took more money in bribes than initially believed, reported AP.
“Such unethical dealings between political power and financial power harms the essence of democracy and distorts order in the market economy, giving the people a grave sense of loss and deep distrust of our society,” Reuters quoted presiding judge Kim Mun-suk as saying. “A strict penalty is unavoidable.”
Park did not appeal against her conviction, reported AFP. She has boycotted court proceedings and called the judicial process politically motivated.
In a separate case in July, Park was sentenced to eight more years in prison after being convicted of corruption charges, including illegally receiving funds from the country’s spy agency. She has been in jail since March 31, 2017.
The daughter of assassinated dictator Park Chung-hee, Park took office in 2013 as a conservative leader and projected herself as the daughter of the nation. She is the nation’s first elected head of state to be ousted, and the third former leader to be convicted of corruption.
The case against Park
Park was impeached in December 2016 after the corruption scandal came to light. She was removed from office by the Constitutional Court in March 2017 and was arrested the same month.
In April 2017, South Korean prosecutors formally charged Park and Shin Dong-bin, the chief of one of the country’s biggest conglomerates, Lotte, with bribery. The charges against the former president include bribery, coercion, abuse of power and leaking state secrets.
Park was accused of colluding with her long-time friend and confidante Choi Soon-sil to extort money in the form of donations from South Korean companies. The money, which was transferred to non-profit foundations controlled by Soon-sil, was allegedly used for personal gains.