The former president of South Korea, Park Geun-Hye, has been sentenced to 24 years in prison. Twenty-four years is a pretty significant amount of time. However, this really is a big deal for Park because she is 66 years old, and a 24-year prison sentence means that she would be released at the age of ninety. She may not even make it to the ripe old age of ninety—a lot of people don’t! The prosecutors wanted to give her a thirty-year sentence, but that did not happen. Park is also being fined $17 million.
She was accused of 18 charges but found guilty on 16. Park was accused of taking part in a whole web of corruption and bribery that included a variety of politicians and entities.
Park was the first democratically-elected female president in South Korea. She was the daughter of a man who served as a conservative military dictator decades ago.
The verdict for her case was told in Seoul Central District Court. Park and her lawyers decided not to attend the verdict in person; they watched live video coverage of it. There was a law passed last year that made such an action legal. Her lawyers are going to try to appeal the sentence.
For a while, much of her electoral base consisted of older South Koreans who fondly cherished the years of her father’s conservative rule. They felt that his rule signified the golden years of South Korea. For the entire time that Park was being accused and tried, you could see her electoral base protesting and showing face to express their disdain.
About a little more than a year ago, South Korea’s Constitutional Court voted to impeach Park. She was stripped of her office, and eventually arrested in March 2017. All of this was happening in the midst of the Trump drama in the United State of America.
Choi Soon-sil was Park’s adviser. Choi was the child of a cult leader that supposedly influenced Park in her youth. The woman did not have an official place in politics, though she used Park to funnel money into certain organizations, as well as to get her daughter into an elite college. Choi was accused of bribery, fraud, abuse of power and corruption. She was given 20 years in jail on 18 charges and fined $16.6 million.
The person who is up next to be president is a liberal candidate who has views that are opposite to those of Park.