Former South Korean President, Park Geun-hye, sentenced to 24 years in prison

Former President of South Korea, Park Geun-hye, has been sentenced to 24 years in prison after being found guilty of abuse of power and coercion.

In a verdict that was broadcast live on Friday, Ms Geun-hye was also fined 18 billion Korean won (about $17 million) for her corrupt practices.

She was not in court for the verdict. She was first arrested in March 2017 and had refused to attend trial since October, citing health crisis.

She maintained she did no wrong and accused authorities of victimising her for political reasons.

At the heart of her trial was allegations that she colluded with her close friend, Choi Soon-sil, to shakedown business executives in South Korea in return for political favours. The collaborator had been sentenced to prison since February last year.

The former president was brought down following weeks of protests across the country in March 2017. She was subsequently arrested and placed on trial.

Prosecutors got her convicted on 18 counts of bribery and coercion.

Her supporters are still taking to the streets in Seoul, the country’s capital, demanding her release, saying her trial was political.

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