Ex-Prime Minister Guilty of Taking Bribes

      August 21, 2015 11:35

      Han Myeong-sook

      The Supreme Court on Thursday upheld a verdict that found former Prime Minister Han Myeong-sook guilty of taking around W900 million in bribes (US$1=W1,191).

      The ruling concludes a five-year legal battle by Korea's first female prime minister.

      Han was stripped of her National Assembly seat for the main opposition New Politics Alliance for Democracy and starts her prison term on Friday.

      She will be the first former prime minister to serve time in jail.

      The Seoul High Court in 2013 sentenced Han to two years in prison and an W880 million fine. All 13 Supreme Court justices upheld the ruling.

      Han was indicted in 2010 for receiving illicit political funds from the head of a local construction company. She was cleared at first instance after the head of the company reversed his claim that he gave her the bribe. But the Seoul High Court in 2013 overturned the decision saying circumstantial evidence points to Han's guilt.

      The Supreme Court said it was reasonable to believe that Han had received the money, given that financial evidence emerged following the allegations. Han, however, claimed the ruling was the result of political pressure.

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