Sunday 22 July 2018

Prosecutors want ex-South Korea president jailed for 30 years

The country’s first female leader has suffered a stunning fall from grace.

Supporters of Park Geun-hye attend a rally to call for her release in front of the Seoul Central District Court (AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon)
Supporters of Park Geun-hye attend a rally to call for her release in front of the Seoul Central District Court (AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon)

By Kim Tong-Hyung

Prosecutors have demanded a 30-year prison term for former South Korean president Park Geun-hye for alleged bribery and abuse of power.

Park did not attend the latest court hearing on Tuesday in a landmark corruption case that marked a stunning fall from grace for the country’s first female leader.

Prosecutors also demanded a fine of 118.5 billion won (£79 million) and said she has shown no remorse for “disrupting constitutional order and damaging the public’s trust in state power”.

The court was expected later on Tuesday to set the date when it will announce the verdict and sentence if it finds her guilty.

“A stern punishment by the court is needed to send a message to the public and politicians that the tragic history should not be repeated,” prosecutor Han Dong-hoon told the court.

If the court finds her guilty, Park would be the third South Korean president convicted of crimes.

The others were former military generals involved in a 1979 coup and a 1980 civilian massacre.

Park has been boycotting the hearings in Seoul Central District Court since October in protest against its decision to extend her detention by another six months.

Her lawyers then resigned and she has reportedly been refusing to meet state-appointed lawyers who have since been defending her in court.

Park will be required to attend her sentencing — the court can issue another arrest warrant to summon her if she refuses.

If she is convicted, an appeal from her defence team is expected as Park has continuously denied wrongdoing.

Press Association

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