(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE SAUDI NEWS AGENCY ASHARQ AL-AWSAT)
Former South Korean President Given 8 More Years in Jail
She now faces the prospect of more than three decades behind bars. She’s already serving a 24-year prison term over a massive corruption scandal that led to her removal from office last year.
Seoul Central District Court found her guilty of causing substantial losses to state coffers by unlawfully receiving about 3 billion won ($2.6 million) from chiefs of the National Intelligence Service during her presidency and sentenced her to six years in prison.
However, she was found not guilty of bribery charges related to the money transfers. The court said it was unclear whether the spy chiefs sought or received favors in return.
The court separately sentenced Park to two years in prison for breaking election laws by meddling in her party candidate’s nomination while attempting to win more spots for her loyalists ahead of the parliamentary elections in 2016.
“Park’s private use of the funds weakened the principles of executing government funds, and barred the country’s chief spy agency from using the funds for its core duty of protecting the country and the people,” presiding judge Seong Chang-ho said as he delivered the verdict.
“However, the defendant has shifted blame to her assistants and refused to appear in court,” Seong said.
As the judge handed down the verdict, Park’s supporters attending the trial reportedly shouted “Release the innocent president,” and “Is this a law?”
All sentences must be served consecutively, a court spokeswoman said.
Park became South Korea’s first democratically elected leader to be forced from office last year when the Constitutional Court ordered her out over a scandal that exposed a web of corruption between political leaders and the country’s powerful conglomerates, or chaebol.
Park, 66, has denied wrongdoing and was not present in court. It was immediately unclear whether Park would appeal.