Photo: Park Geun-hye. Credit: Website of the Office of the President.
The Supreme Court 대법원 confirmed the criminal sentence for former president Park Geun-hye 박근혜, finalizing her sentence of 22 years in prison. On January 14, the court sentenced Park to 15 years in prison for bribery and five years in prison for misuse of government funds, in addition to the two years in prison for interference with the intra-party selection process for the 2016 National Assembly elections 총선 that was not at issue before the Supreme Court. Park was also sentenced to a fine of KRW 18b (USD 16m). This sentence was a reduction from 30 years in prison and KRW 20b in fines imposed by the lower court, as some of the charges against Park were dismissed on appeal.
Unless pardoned, Park Geun-hye would be released from prison in 2039, at age 87. Last month, Democratic Party chairman Lee Nak-yeon 이낙연 민주당대표 said he would suggest president Moon Jae-in 문재인 pardon Park. (See TBR’s previous coverage, "Beg Your Pardon?") Lee maintained his suggestion, but said Park must offer “a sincere apology” 진솔한 사과 first. Moon, however, rejected the call for pardoning Park and the former president Lee Myung-bak 이명박 in his new year's press conference.