South Korea ex-president sees prison term extended

20 Jul 18

Former South Korean president Park Geun-hye has been sentenced to eight more years in prison after she was found guilty on charges of causing loss of government funds.

The South Korean court also found Park had been interfering in a 2016 parliamentary election, Reuters reported.

She has already been sentenced to 24 years after she was found guilty by a lower court of charges in including bribery, abuse of power and coercion, in April.

Judge Seong Chang-ho said: “Park’s private use of the funds weakened the principles of executing government funds, and barred the country’s chief spy agency from using the funds for its core duty of protecting the country and the people.

“However, the defendant has shifted blame to her assistants and refused to appear in court,” Seong said.

The Seoul Central District Court found that she had colluded with her former aides to cause the loss of government funds worth about 30bn won ($27m) from the national intelligence service.

Park, who was the country’s first democratically elected leader to be forced from office, has denied all wrongdoing and it is unclear whether she would appeal. She was not present in court.

South Korea’s Constitutional Court ordered Park out over a scandal that revealed a number of cases of corruption between political leaders and the country’s powerful conglomerates.

Additionally, Park was found guilty of interfering in the ruling party’s selection of candidate for the elections, breaching the obligation of the president to be politically neutral.

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