Korean ex-president faces jail

SOUTH Korean prosecutors have sought a 30-year jail term for former president Park Geun Hye (朴槿惠), who was ousted last year amid An influence-peddling scandal.
Park, aged 66, was dismissed last March after being impeached and is standing trial on charges of bribery, abuse of power and coercion. She denies any wrongdoing and alleged she was being politically persecuted.
Prosecutors are also seeking a 118.5 billion won (HK$862.5 million) fine for Park, who has been detained since 31 March last year.
Receiving bribes in South Korea carries a penalty of up to life in jail. Lawyer Park Seung Gil tearfully pleaded before Seoul (首爾) Central District Court for mercy, saying Park had tried her hardest in leading the country.
Park’s trial began last May and a verdict is expected before April 2018 in a case that brought scrutiny to the cosy ties between South Korea’s political leaders and its largest chaebol, the so-called ‘Republic of Samsung’.
“Park brought a national crisis,” a prosecutor said. “She took tens of billions of won in bribes and yet denied her crimes and obstructed efforts to establish the truth.”
Even so, hundreds of Park’s supporters gathered outside the court, proclaiming her innocence and demanding her immediate release.

(This article is published on Junior Standard on 07 March 2018)

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