Impeached Former President of South Korea Park Geun Hye Sentenced to 24 Years for Corruption

in #corruption6 years ago (edited)

This is how shadow governments should be dealt with in a democracy.

Disgraced former South Korean president Park Geun Hye has been sentenced to 24 years in prison for corruption stemming from revelations of influence peddling involving her closest confidant, and unelected advisor, Choi Soon Sil.

Park Geun Hye is the first South Korean elected leader to be ousted on corruption charges while in power and the third former president to be charged with corruption.

Prosecutors sought 30 years for South Korea’s first female leader as well as 118 billion KRW the equivalent to approximately 110 million USD.

The 66-year-old Park received 24 years just under the 30 years demanded by the prosecution and additionally was fined 18 billion KRW / 10 million USD.

The Verdict

The former conservative party leader was convicted on 16 of 18 charges

The summary the courts verdict are as follows.

  • Former President Park Geun-hye sentenced to 24 years' jail, fined 18 billion won on 16 charges.

  • Park convicted of 16 of 18 charges against her.

  • Park convicted of power abuse to extort money from companies to set up two non-profit foundations under her friend's control.

  • Park found guilty of pressing Hyundai Motor to sign a deal with KD Corporation, a company run by a close friend of Park's friend Choi Soon-sil.

  • Park acquitted of power abuse relating to forcing Hyundai Motor to run ads for Choi's company.

  • Park convicted of pressing Lotte Group to donate 7 billion won ($6.55 million) to the K-Sports Foundation, a non-profit foundation run by Choi.

  • Park found guilty of forcing telecom company KT to hire Choi's close friend and sign a deal with an ad company run by another of Choi's friends.

  • Park convicted of pressing steelmaker POSCO to sign a deal with The Blue K, a company run by Choi.

  • Park convicted of power abuse to extort 1.6 billion won from Samsung to fund a foundation under her friend's control.

  • Park convicted of an attempt to sack CJ Group vice chairwoman.

  • Park convicted of leaking 47 confidential presidential documents to Choi.

  • Lotte's 7 billion won donated to a foundation run by Park's friend was a bribe to Park. The money was sent to Choi, but given the Park-Choi relationship, the money is considered a bribe to Park via Choi.

  • Park convicted of pressing SK Group to donate 8.9 billion won to the K-Sports Foundation, a non-profit foundation run by Choi.

  • Park acquitted of forcing Samsung to fund 21.3 billion won for Choi's equestrian daughter.

  • Samsung's 3.64 billion won donation to Core Sports, a foundation run by Choi, was a bribe to Park given the Park-Choi relationship.

  • Park convicted of forcing Samsung to offer Choi's equestrian daughter free horses, cars and training material.

  • Park found guilty of power abuse for sacking ranking out-of-favor government officials.

  • Park acquitted of accepting illegal requests from Samsung over company's leadership succession.

  • Park convicted as a collaborator in the compilation of a "blacklist" of out-of-favor cultural figures and cutting state support for them.

  • Park convicted of power abuse over promotion of a Hana Bank official who provided inappropriate favors to Choi.

Korea Times

In handing down the sentence, presiding Chief judge Kim Se-Yun made these statements regarding the verdict.

“As the state chief chosen by the people, Park should have used her authority according to the Constitution. But she abused her power to maintain her private relationships”

“Her irregularities were unveiled, and she became the very first president to be impeached in South Korean history. And for that, Park and (her civilian friend) Choi Soon-sil, who used her ties with the president to meddle in state affairs for her own benefit, are responsible.”

The Korean Herald

Choi Soon Sil in Court facing bribery and extortion charges

Former South Korean President Lee Myung Park

Another former president of South Korea, Lee Myung Bak is presently in police custody on charges of corruption.

Lee was arrested March 22 on 12 charges, including bribery involving 11 billion won ($10 million) and embezzlement of 35 billion won.

Lee has been in custody for 2 weeks but has so far refused to cooperate with investigators. Lee and Park Geun Hye are close political allies and some in South Korea have openly speculated that their arrests, and conviction in the case of Park, can be traced back to animosity between them and South Korea’s current president Moon Jae-in.

The much-repeated suggestion by Lee and many right-wing politicians stemmed from a particularly close friendship between President Moon Jae-in and former President Roh Moo-hyun, who committed suicide during amid a prosecution investigation into alleged bribery involving his family members in May 2009, a year after Lee took office.

Korea Times

Park Geun Hye's co-conspirator Choi Soon Sil was sentenced to 20 years in prison this past February on charges of bribery, extortion and other related crimes.

The Korea Example

Perhaps western democracies should pay heed to the South Korean Justice system which seems to be carrying out justice according to the South Korea constitution. Political corruption had long plagued South Korean politics yet the recent arrests of high ranking officials, the impeachment of a sitting president and subsequent conviction and sentencing appears to demonstrate that Korean democracy has been able to hand down justice while their western counterparts seem to never be in danger of prosecution.

While the sentences of Choi and Park are historic and carry with them a warning for future South Korean politicians, the fact that executives of Korean corporations (chaebols - family run mega-conglomerates), in this case Samsung, Lotte and SK, avoided criminal charges in the matter takes some of the shine away from the achievement.

Nevertheless, Western democracies could learn a thing or two from the South Koreans in taken on corruption head-on. Equally, the active and prolonged mass protests of the South Korean people leading up to Park's impeachment should also serve to demonstrate the power of collective action to complacent citizens of western democracies.

Image Credits

Sputnik News
AL Jazeera
The Korean Herald
South China Morning Post
South China Morning Post 2

Additional Sources

The New York Times




A lot of Korean people still think 110 million USD is not enough to compare to how much she made money from corruption. But thinking about her age, 24 years might be good enough ;) She's really famous for a BIG fan of K-drama, so who knows she would love to stay in jail watching K-dramas all day long. I'm very proud that Korean people kept fought against the corrupt government. I hope Korean people inspired to a lot of people who live in the corrupted world. Thanks for the post!

I do not know if she is guilty or not.

Corruption is everywhere but this helps bringing light and the end to other corruption. I too hope this inspires many more. Best wishes ! :)

She's really famous for a BIG fan of K-drama, so who knows she would love to stay in jail watching K-dramas all day long.

This is like being under house arrest - you don't even need to go out to by food - they deliver this and new batteries for the remote control!

wow! so much corruption was going on, with too much debt in their country this impeachment should minimized their debt, i can't imagine being in power she's willing to steal money for the sake of her private relationship.

Some of it seems to be allegations, accusations, without enough evidence.

The needs to go worldwide .. alas I can but dream of a day that people peacefully take to the streets of the UK and don't leave until they've secured the arrest of the odious Duke of depravity that is ... Tony Blair!

Equally as different countries and millions of eyes across the world begin to focus on these systematic abuses, corrupt politicians and shadow hands .. it also leaves me wondering what they will do to avert the attention. I've said it before and I'll say it again .. we live in one of the most pivotal moments in human history, too bad many people can't look up from their phones to see it. Still, what a time to be alive eh?

Duke of Depravity! lol

I always loved this campaign satire to bring attention to Blair's war crimes...

Curated for #informationwar (by @openparadigm)
Relevance: How to properly drain a swamp
Our Purpose

For reals, how to drain a swamp!
From What I gather the Korean system still has deep rooted corruption but it's a big step in the right direction.


If that is the only thing Trump gets done I would be very happy. Then we need new laws to counteract elected and appointed officials from having so much power.

The base layer of how to deal with corruption needs to be updated for the USA, because we are going to continue to get Garbage In Garbage Out until it is fixed. Term limits, reduce or eliminate appointed positions(because they aren't accountable), reduce size of government so they have less power, make laws 1,000,000,000,000 x stricter on lobbying, all donations to political campaign have to be publicly registered on an immutable blockchain for something over a few thousand bucks, etc. Once a lot of that stuff is addressed then we can hold them more accountable and then work towards lowering spending/stop fighting pointless wars that costs trillions and all that.

Thanks, @truthforce writing.

"...we need new laws to counteract elected and appointed officials from having so much power."

I note, as did Lysander Spooner, that laws don't stop criminals from breaking them. Therefore law only prevents the law-abiding from breaking them. The more laws there are, the more constrained are the lawful. Those same laws don't constrain criminals.

We don't need more laws. We need far fewer of them, so that free and lawful men can attend to those that break laws assiduously.

We don't need more laws, we need to enforce the few that are necessary to effectively prevent criminals from seizing power with impunity. We need to drain the overwhelming swamp of laws that are utterly impossible to even know exist due to their vast number, but we need to drown the infant tyranny in that swamp first, so that we are left with a clean tub when we do.

Then, instead of the swamp of despotic propaganda and censorship we see today overflowing our public vat of discourse, we can fill it with the pure waters of reason and voluntary agreement in our deliberations.

There is a problem with that though, "criminals breaking the law", if you have term limits as a law on an elected position they can't exactly break that law in any way I can think of. Having the new laws created of having term limits does need to be done, it is the only way to hold them accountable. These Senators and House of Rep people who are there for more than 8 years have to go, no more of this 10 15 20 25 30 year ruling dynasty. The longer they are in these positions the more corrupt they will become due to lobbyists.

Another law that should be made is that we can't keep printing and spending so much money, the constant raising of the debt ceiling is an absolute joke that proves a debt ceiling means nothing. Budgets should have laws in place that requires them to be balanced. More laws should also be made to outlaw all omnibus bills where there is thousands of pages with a bunch of bullshit thrown in. Theres tons of laws I can think of all day that could be implemented in that would be effective or somewhat effective in curbing governments power. If you take away a lot of the laws from these areas you will see more corruption, so I do not agrew that we need less laws in these specific areas(while we may need less laws for the EPA for example, that I would agree with and many other things).

Think about it like this, Senators/House of Reps/Governors/Mayors have more power than Kings did in the 1800s or 1900s, they are tyrants of their own district elected by a Democracy of votes. Most people have no idea what is going on with politics to start with(unless there is a huge galvanizing pressure for Truth like the TEA party had going for a little while, or the Freedom Caucus). So we are already starting off on a Garbage In Garbage Out problem, which is further compounded by their ability to draw up districts so that they always have more Dem or more Rep voters so they always win(again more laws need to be made to outlaw gerrymandering).

There are a lot of laws that have to be made to stop these abuses, so when you say that we need to get rid of laws you need to specify which ones you want to get rid of. Enforcing a lot of the laws on the books certainly is what we should be doing already, the reason we aren't is because of a bad base layer where nothing is really being done to fix it.

Now, am I saying that adding in some of those above laws fixes the problem 100%? No. I am more conservative in my estimate that if the above laws were implemented it would only fix a small percentage of the problem and more things have to be examined on how to make it better.

And one more I just thought of, a law need to be put into place that says "only US citizens count for the census" because as it stands right now any party who continually lets in unlimited amounts of illegal immigrants benefits there state for electoral votes. California has something like 4 or 5 extra electoral votes due to the increased population their state has due to illegal immigrants. And yes Iagree with you, enforcing the laws already on the books is part of the solution. Also adding more laws to where illegal immigrants cannot collect benefits goes hand in hand with building a border wall and hand in hand with increased border security. There is less problems to worry about if the incentives are taken away(no benefits for illegals, no anchor baby, no free ride, etc).

I hope that makes more sense of what I was trying to originally say.

How about 0 lobbying!

Is this similar to what happens in Brazil?

Let see if France can follow South Korea's example in the future trial of Nicolas Sarkozy...

It would certainly set a precedent in the West, I'd love to see Sarkozy imprisoned after taking Gaddafi's bribes and then sending French jets to bomb Libya a few years later.

Well, this is only the tip of the iceberg, he also needs to face the Bettencourt affair, the Bygmalion affair, double accounting about his political party and so on...

In every country there are corrupt politicians this is a fact!Everyone loves money especially those who have power!No matter how people struggle with this, it is not possible to eradicate.. The desire for power and wealth arose with the appearance of man!


Not everyone my friend. It may seem like it, but birds of a feather flock together.

Perhaps different company will reveal a new side to humanity you haven't noticed, because they haven't been hanging around.

I know there are folks that don't care about money.

I am one.

@v4vapid this is awesome, I rejoice with the people of South Korea at least their justice system is working, if only such can happen in Africa especially here in Nigeria, at least the country would become a better place.

In Nigeria, the fight against corruption has been turned to a witch hunt, used to silence the opposition, what a farce, its time we learn from South Korea. God help Nigeria.

Still your boy @royaltiesboss-eu

I always wish I could live in a place where are less corruption happing vs. what I am facing everyday in Korea from the news. I hope Lee Myung Park and Park Geun Hye and all related person's penalty could be fixed asap. Most people here wants to see the JUSTICE!!

As the Korean, I also participated in the protest against Ms. Park December 2016. There were a lot of people including foreigners, and then eventually we Korean eventually impeached her officially and legally.

However, there's more. We still believe that Mr. Lee Jae yong (family of Samsung group founder) is one of them who are guilty and corrupt. He is related to Ms. Park and her government.

And Samsung group is the core of corruption. It was disappointing that the charges related to Samsung were not guilty. To win the war against corruption, Charges related to Samsung must be judged properly.

I totally agree, Samsung got off easy. There's no doubt that these mega corporations are just as much to blame for the culture of corruption in politics in Korea and around the world.
It really doesn't make sense that Lee Jae Yong was not convicted of bribery as well as they seemed to be willing to participate in the corruption. On the surface it seems like business as usual, which says a lot about how politics and the economy really function.

Do you know the reason why he was not convicted? Was it lack of evidence?

I'm sure Mr. Lee probably had an all star team of lawyers that made sure he was never going to be convicted.

Yes, I agree. Do you know that the other mega corporation,Lotte? The president of Lotte is now in jail because of this political gate. Even though Lotte gave money to Ms. Choi(Ms. Park's best friend and shaman) and took money back, Lotte's president Mr. Shin is now in jail. The reason that he is in jail now is that he is not Samsung.

But Mr. Lee who is related to this gate is actually free. There are still a lot of trial but I can't sure that the judge can make right verdict.

Through discussion with you, I remember when I participated in protest. I took some videos but many people's face was filmed, too.... so it is hard to upload.


I remember being appalled and flabbergasted at the bizarre revelations of psychosocial control Choi wielded over Park, that sparked the protests. It really reminds me of Marina Abramovich and her 'spirit cooking' parties.

People see the pics of celebrities eating meals fashioned in the shape of human corpses, and they think 'oh, they're just being edgy'. That's not what I think when I see those pics. It makes my guts churn.

Thanks for bringing this news. Hopefully there's closure for Korea, and they can focus on their present opportunities without the taint of bribery and corruption muddying the waters. Re-unification is vitally important to many, many families that have been severed by the 38th parrallel for far too long.

I was surprised when I first read the headline and impressed by the details. Being there when citizens took to the streets demanding that she be impeached for her actions gave me hope that democracy still has a fighting chance. It was great to see her impeachment last May for her corruption and this sentencing is justice served. the West can learn a valuable lesson here.

I also hope that this isn't just a one off for SK, as there is still a lot of back room deals that go on and you know the Chaebol still have a lot of control throughout the land. But we should celebrate this victory and hope that there will be more of this in the future. Good on SK for taking a step in the right direction

Yes, the Chaebols wield too much power in SK that's for sure.
A celebration is warranted I think, but also expect to see PGH getting pardoned if, and when, a conservative government comes back into power in the future. It seems as though justice is rather partisan in SK. Still, this is historic and I hope Lee Myung Bak is convicted as well.

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