South Korean prosecutor on May 20 reportedly demanded a 35-year jail term for former President Park Geun-Hye, who was ousted and later convicted over a sprawling corruption scandal. Park was the country’s first female president, however, she was brought down in 2017 after huge street protest triggered by allegations she and one of her close friend took bribes from top conglomerates for government favours.
According to an international media outlet, Park earlier sentenced to 32 years in jail for bribery, abuse of power, election law violations and taking money from South Korea’s spy agency. She is currently being retried in the High Court on the bribery, abuse of power and the spy agency charges, for which is serving a combined 30 years. However, after the Supreme Court ruled that the bribery accusations should have been handled separately, the prosecutors reportedly said that the former president should be jailed for 35 years.
The prosecutors also called for the fine to be increased from 20 billion won to 33.3 billion won. According to a South Korean local media outlet, the former president boycotted the hearing. Park also refused to take part in most of the judicial proceeding against her. Meanwhile, the judges are due to deliver their verdict on July 10.
According to reports, the corruption scandal back in 2017 exposed shady links between big businesses and politics in the country. Park and her close friend Choi Soon-Sil were allegedly accused of taking bribes from conglomerates including Samsung Electronic in exchange for preferential treatment.
In 2016, allegations also began emerging that Choi Soon-Sil was being given inappropriate access to government decision-making, including editing some of Park’s speeches. Later she was accused of using her friendship to pressure some of South Korea’s biggest companies into paying money into non-profit foundations she ran as well.