Former South Korea President Bags 24 Years Jail For Corruption

JUST IN: Ex-president sentenced to 24 years in Jail

JUST IN: Ex-president sentenced to 24 years in Jail

The disgraceful downfall of the country's first female president is an end with which many former South Korean presidents are very familiar.

The heads of conglomerates involved in the scandal have also been jailed.

She had also denied all wrongdoing.

Her supporters, mostly elderly South Koreans, have insisted on her innocence, holding weekend marches in downtown Seoul and shouting for her release.

A trial which lasted more than 10 months and highlighted shady links between big business and politics in South Korea ended with Park being found guilty on multiple criminal charges, including bribery and abuse of power.

"It's inevitable that the defendant should be held strictly responsible for her crimes, if only to prevent the unfortunate event of a president abusing the power granted by the people and throwing state affairs into chaos form happening again", chief judge Kim Se-yun said.

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Prosecutors sought a 30-year sentence and a 118.5 billion won ($112 million) fine for Park, after indicting her on charges that included bribery, abuse of power and coercion.

Aside from the 24 years sentence, the court also fined the former President the sum of $17 million.

The court found guilty of Park's collusion with Choi to abuse her presidential power and coerce local conglomerates, including Samsung and retail giant Lotte, to donate tens of millions of USA dollars to nonprofit foundations which the court said Choi actually controlled.

Conservative and older South Koreans had gathered outside the court to support Park.

Samsung Electronics Vice Chairman Lee Jae-yong, the heir apparent and the only son to Chairman Lee Kun-hee, was set free by the appeals court in February with a sentence of two and a half years in prison suspended for four years.

Kang Cheol-gu told reporters after Friday's ruling that he believes the "appeals court and the Supreme Court will make a different judgment". There were no immediate reports of major clashes or injuries. Her electoral base remembers the time when her father, who is often called a dictator, ruled the country as a period of strength.

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The high-profile graft scandal led to the president's impeachment in December 2016, and triggered massive protests across South Korea both supporting and condemning Park.

The corruption scandal triggered months of mass protests and political turmoil in South Korea.

For many South Koreans, who took to the streets by the hundreds of thousands to oust Park, the case starkly illustrated widespread feelings that the system is stacked against them and that only the rich and well-connected can get ahead.

The court, however, found Park not guilty of two of the charges the prosecution levied against her.

But she is not the only former president to have been arrested for corruption.

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