Ex-S.Korean President’s jail term increased

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Seoul, Aug 24 (IANS) A South Korean court on Friday sentenced former President Park Geun-hye to 25 years in prison, an increase of one year, in a massive corruption case that led to her removal from office.

The Seoul High Court sentenced Park, 66, and ordered her to pay a 20 billion won ($17 million) fine, reports Yonhap News Agency.

She was earlier sentenced to 24 years in jail and assessed 18 billion won in fines by a lower court on April 6 for conspiring with her long-time confidant, Choi Soon-sil, into forcing big conglomerates, including Samsung, to donate 77.4 billion won to two foundations under Choi’s control.

The scandal led to her impreachment in March last year.

Prosecutors maintained their demand for a 30-year jail term and a 118.5 billion won fine for Park on July 20.

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The court will soon deliver its rulings on Choi and Ahn Jong-beom, Park’s former chief policy aide, in the same trial. They were sentenced to 20 years and six years in prison, respectively.

Park was not present at the trial. She has been boycotting what she calls “politically motivated” court proceedings since last October, when the court extended her pre-sentencing detention.

She has criticised the judiciary and prosecution for not handling her case fairly.

–IANS

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