Former South Korean President Park Geun-hye could be heading to prison. Park, the country’s first female president, is facing time after being convicted on corruption charges. She can appeal the conviction but must do so in the next week.
The former leader, who is 66 years old, claims she is a victim of revenge. Park continues to refuse to attend court sessions, something she began in October. She did not go to the verdict announcement on Friday, April 6.
Lawmakers impeached Park, elected in 2012, in December of 2016. A Constitutional Court ruling removed her from office in March of 2017.
Also, Park owes the South Korean equivalent of $16.8 million in fines.
The judge in the case, Kim Se-yun, says Park is not showing remorse for her crimes and continues to deflect blame to others.
The charges against Park focus on corruption. The conviction includes charges of extortion, bribery, and abuse of power.
Former South Korean President Took Illegal Bribes
Seoul Center District Court found Park guilty of pressuring businesses to donate money to help launch two foundations. Those foundations were under control of Park’s confidante Choi Soon-sil. The forced donations totaled over 77 billion won, or $72 million.
The court also found the two women guilty of taking bribes. One bribe, totaling an amount equal to $6.5 million, came from tech company Samsung.
Chio is already serving time for her role in the events. She is serving 20 years in prison.
Park is no stranger to the national spotlight. She grew up in the palace of the president as the daughter of a former leader. She also served as the first lady after her mother’s assassination.
Known as “Queen of Elections,” Park was once very popular among South Korean conservatives. She was regarded highly for her ability to help the party win close elections, including her presidential run.
However, after the scandal, many former supporters are now celebrating the prison sentence. A small group, though, believes Park’s claim of political revenge.
The current supporters are marching and protesting to set Park free. Still, the number of people that support the court ruling appears to be much higher than those opposed to it.