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South Korea’s ex-President sentenced to 24 years in jail

Former South Korean President Park Geun-hye was sentenced to 24 years in prison by the Seoul Central District Court after she was found guilty of corruption, Al-Jazeera reported today.

The former president was found guilty of several corruption charges, abuse of power and coercion in a verdict issued on Friday. She was also fined $16m.

It was alleged in the trial that Park, 66, colluded with a friend, Choi Soon-sil, and a former presidential aide, in pressuring big businesses to donate to two foundations set up to back her policy initiatives.

She was also charged for soliciting bribes from the head of the Samsung Group for government favours.

Park was acquitted in at least two of the charges, including abuse of power relating to forcing Hyundai automobile company to run ads for the company owned by Choi.

South Korean state news agency Yonhap reported that Park did not appear in the sentencing trial.

She has been in prison for more than a year, but has refused to appear in court for most of her hearings.

In December 2016, South Korean lawmakers overwhelmingly voted to impeach Park, but she refused to resign offering instead an apology while denying any legal wrongdoing.

Three months later, the eight-member Constitutional Court then voted unanimously to remove her from office.

She was charged and detained soon after her dismissal from office.

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