Former South Korean leader jailed for 24 years

Park Geun-hye

South Korea’s former President Park Geun-hye will spend 24 years in prison for corruption.

The former leader was implicated in a scandal which rocked the country and exposed dealings between politicians and big companies.

Park Geun-hye
Park: jailed

She who was also fined $17m faced a string of charges including bribery, coercion and abuse of power.

Park, 66, has always denied any wrongdoing and was not in court on Friday when the verdict was passed.

The judge found her guilty of 16 out of 18 charges, most of which related to bribery and coercion.

The court ruled that Park had colluded with her close friend, Choi Soon-sil, to receive millions of dollars from conglomerates such as electronics giant Samsung and retail chain Lotte to give millions of dollars to foundations run by Choi.

She was also convicted of forcing companies to sign lucrative deals with firms owned by Choi and to donate gifts to Choi and her daughter.

In addition, Park was found guilty of leaking confidential presidential documents to Choi.

The judge noted that the former president was not repentant and she tried to shift blame to her secretaries.

She has seven days to file an appeal.

Park, the country’s first female leader, was also the first democratically elected president to be impeached.