The ruling is seen as a blow to South Korean ousted leader Park Geun-Hye, who has been separately standing trial after being impeached in March and indicted on 18 charges including bribery, coercion and abuse of power (AFP Photo/JUNG YEON-JE) She was found guilty on charges of bribery, coercion and abuse of power, and ordered to pay a fine of 18 billion won (US$17 million). “The amount of bribery the accused received or demanded in collaboration with Choi amounts to more than 23 billion won,” Judge Kim Se-Yoon said, referring to Park’s secret confidante and long-time friend Choi Soon-sil. “I sentence the accused to 24 years in prison and 18 billion won in fines.” Park, 66, had boycotted most of the trial in protest at being held in custody. She was not present in court for Friday’s judgement which, in a rare move, was broadcast live on television. Prosecutors were seeking a 30-year sentence and a 118.5 billion won fine for Park, after indicting her on charges that included bribery, abuse of power and coercion. Hundreds of flag-waving pro-Park protesters had gathered outside the Seoul courthouse in support of the country’s first ever woman leader, carrying banners and chanting slogans… Read full this story
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