January 14, 2021 13:45
The Supreme Court on Thursday upheld a 20-year jail sentence with a fine of W18 billion in the final appeal of ex-President Park Geun-hye on Thursday (US$1=W1,097).
Park was impeached in 2017 and sentenced in 2018 to a total of 30 years in prison for abuse of power, bribery, coercion and other offences.
But when prosecutors appealed, an appellate court slashed the sentence last year to 20 years, taking into account that she did not gain significant personal benefit from her offenses. Most of the loot went to her toxic confidante Choi Soon-sil.
Thursday's final verdict brought to an end one of Korea's biggest political scandals after nearly four years in the courts. It also makes Park eligible for the customary pardon that has so far benefited every one of Korea's jailbird ex-presidents.
But it is uncertain whether President Moon Jae-in will grant it as the ruling Minjoo Party is mostly opposed, saying Park must apologize for her offenses first.
Park has been sulking since she was indicted in April 2017 and refused to defend herself or admit her crimes, so she may opt to sit out the current government in jail.
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