International review Investigation

Prosecutors demand 30 years in prison for ousted President Park

Пак Кын Хе перед заседанием суда в Сеуле, март 2017 года
Source: AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon, Pool.

This material belongs to: Yonhap News.

SEOUL, Feb. 27 (Yonhap) — Prosecutors on Tuesday demanded 30 years in prison for former President Park Geun-hye, who was ousted in a massive corruption scandal that toppled her from office early last year.

They also asked the Seoul Central District Court to fine her 118.5 billion won (US$110.4 million).

The court is expected to deliver its ruling in late March or early April.

Park, 66, was indicted in April last year on 18 charges including bribery, abuse of power and leaking state secrets.

She was accused of colluding with her longtime friend and confidante Choi Soon-sil to extort 77.4 billion won from big conglomerates, including Samsung, Lotte and SK, in exchange for business favors.

She was also found to have let Choi meddle in state affairs even though she held no official authority or post in the government. Park has pleaded not guilty.

The prosecution said Park privatized presidential authority to peddle influence and sullied constitutional values.

“As a result of that, the defendant became the first democratically-elected leader of this country to have been removed from office,” it said. “That also has left an inerasable blemish in history.”

The prosecution also noted Park’s lack of sincerity over the course of the trial. She refused to attend a hearing after the court extended her detention in October, raising questions over the fairness of the judiciary. Park also did not show up for Tuesday’s trial.

“Not only has she insisted on denying the charges, but she also deceived and misled the public about the truth of the influence-peddling by accusing this case of being a political payback,” it said, pointing out on the need for a hefty punishment for the defendant.

Park was removed from office in March on a Constitutional Court ruling. She has been under presentencing detention since she was arrested later that month. Choi was sentenced to 20 years in prison two weeks ago and has appealed the ruling.