S.Korean appeals court sentences ousted president Park to 25 years in prison

A South Korean appeals court on Friday sentenced ousted President Park Geun-hye to 25 years in prison, raising the lower court's sentencing of the 24-year imprisonment.

People watch a TV screen showing a file footage of former South Korean President Park Geun-hye during a news program at the Seoul Railway Station in Seoul, South Korea, on July 20, 2018. 

A South Korean appeals court on Friday raised the sentencing of ousted President Park Geun-hye to 25 years in prison on corruption charges, including bribery that led to her impeachment.

The Seoul High Court raised Park's sentence by one year from the lower court's ruling of the 24-year imprisonment.

Park was fined 20 billion won (US$18 million), higher than the lower court's fine of 18 billion won.

The appellate court increased the bribes Park received from Samsung Group, the country's biggest family-controlled conglomerate, in exchange for assistance to the management control transfer to Samsung Electronics Vice Chairman Lee Jae-yong from his ailing father Lee Kun-hee.

The high court judged that Park ordered or approved the national pension fund's vote in favor of the 2015 merger between Cheil Industries and Samsung C&T, the two Samsung units merged to create a de facto holding company for Samsung.

The merger helped the Samsung heir apparent strengthen his management control over Samsung. Park recognized it and was tacitly requested for assistance, the high court ruled.

Park was impeached by lawmakers in December 2016 after weeks of candlelit rallies, in which hundreds of thousands of South Koreans took to the streets every weekend demanding her resignation.

The Constitutional Court upheld the parliament's decision in March 2017, making her become the first South Korean leader to be impeached by the National Assembly. Park was arrested three weeks later.

Special Reports