November 22, 2018 12:52
An appeals court on Wednesday upheld a two-year prison sentence for ex-President Park Geun-hye for meddling in the nominations of parliamentary candidates in her Saenuri Party.
Presidents are constitutionally obliged to remain neutral in general elections.
Park was found guilty of mobilizing Cheong Wa Dae officials to exclude her opponents within the party from winning nominations for National Assembly seats by creating a blacklist and conducting illegal polls from November 2015 to March 2016.
She was also convicted of pressuring a politician not to seek a candidacy in order to back her ally.
A lower court found Park guilty and sentenced her to two years. Park did not appeal, but prosecutors did because they felt the sentence was too lenient. But the appeals court said there was no reason to increase the jail term. Park has been boycotting all her trials since October last year and remains in jail.
She had already been sentenced to 25 years behind bars on charges of corruption and another six years for misappropriating National Intelligence Service funds, to be served consecutively. Wednesday's ruling brings the total to 33 years, making it likely that she will spend the rest of her life in jail unless a future successor pardons her.
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