Seoul, South Korea: Former President of South Korea, Park Geun-hye, 66, has been sentenced to eight more years in jail. Earlier in April, the Seoul Central District Court sentenced Park Geun-hye to 24 years in prison and fined 18 billion won (17 million US dollars) after she was found guilty on charges of corruption including abuse of power and bribery.
The Seoul Central District Court ruled that Park, who has already received a 24-year jail term over separate corruption charges, colluded with her former aides to cause the loss of government funds worth about 30 billion won (S$36 million) from the National Intelligence Service.
She was also found guilty of interfering in the ruling party’s selection of candidates for the parliamentary election.
Park, 66, has denied wrongdoing and was not present in court.
In early January, prosecutors indicted Park on additional charges that include bribery, embezzlement and loss of state funds for illegally accepting 3.5 billion won ($3.2 million) from the National Intelligence Service between May 2013 and September 2016.
Park is accused of spending some of the money for private use, such as bills for secret phones she used to contact Choi, maintenance costs for her private residence in southern Seoul and medical treatment. The funds were also used for incentives and bonuses for Park’s close aides.
Her three former aides who were indicted alongside her for their involvement in the NIS bribery case were found guilty only of fund misappropriation in a separate trial last week. The court ruled the NIS provisions to Park’s office were not bribes.
She was found guilty by a lower court in April of separate charges including bribery, abuse of power and coercion.
In April, Park was found guilty of colluding with her friend Choi Soon-sil, 61, who had been already sentenced to 20 years, in taking tens of millions of dollars from conglomerates.
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.
Park is the daughter of former South Korean military leader Park Chung-hee. She became the third South Korean president convicted of crimes. The others were former military generals involved in a 1979 coup and a 1980 civilian massacre.
Her predecessor, Lee Myung-bak, who held the presidential office from 2008 to 2013, is also currently in detention as he is suspected of multiple corruption charges. Unlike Park, he finished his presidential term and was arrested in the wake of the latest scandal in March, 2018.
The graft scandal involved high-profile businessmen, including the vice chairman of Samsung Group, Jay Y. Lee. He was initially sentenced to five years in prison for bribery. However, in February, just before the Winter Olympics kicked off in South Korea, he was released as his sentence was suspended and reduced to two and a half years.
This is the brief sequence of the rise and fall of South Korea’s first female president, Park Geun-hye:
Feb. 25, 2013 park is sworn in as the first female president of South Korea, promising an era of hope,
Oct. 25, 2016 Park makes her first public apology for giving a friend, Choi Soon-sil, access to draft speeches during the first months of her presidency.
Oct. 31, 2016 Choi is arrested on suspicion of exerting inappropriate influence over state affairs.
Nov. 4, 2016 Park Geun-hye makes her second televised apology, saying she would take responsibility if found guilty.
On Nov. 29,2016 Park Geun-hye asks parliament to decide how and when she could give up power due to the scandal in the third TV apology.
Dec. 9, 2016 Parliament votes to impeach Park Geun-hye.
March 10, 2017 Constitutional Court upholds parliament’s vote to impeach Park Geun-hye, removing her from office.
March 12, 2017 Park Geun-hye leaves the presidential Blue House and is greeted by supporters outside her home.
March 31, 2017 Park Geun-hye is arrested on suspicion of corruption and put into jail.
April 6, 2018 Park Geun-hye is sentenced to 24 years in jail and fined 18 billion won (17 million US dollars).
July 20, 2018 Park Geun-hye is sentenced to 8 more years in jail (now total 32 years in Jail).