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Thursday
April 2018
9:20 PM IST
News Headlines
Nawaz Sharif, daughter leave for London        Former US first lady Barbara Bush dead at 92        Manmohan Singh on Kathua, Unnao rape cases: ‘PM Narendra Modi should follow own advice to me, speak more often’        Kathua rape ‘barbaric’, says President Kovind        KKR breach Rajasthan fortress at Jaipur, beat RR by 7 wickets        Virat Kohli downbeat despite smashing IPL run record        BJP ministers in J&K government asked to resign, to be replaced with new faces        Banks are unable to meet the demand for cash, says ATM industry        India, Sweden to enhance cooperation in defence, cyber security        Castro set to step aside as Cuban president, his reforms incomplete        Mumbai outplay Bangalore in IPL tie        Kolkata Police summons cricketer Mohammed Shami in domestic abuse case        10-man Bengaluru FC thrash Mohun Bagan to set up Super Cup final with East Bengal        Countrywide protests demanding justice in Kathua and Unnao rape cases        Former FBI director James Comey makes shocking claims about Trump        Prince Harry, Meghan Markle to work as Commonwealth youth ambassadors        Manchester City crowned Premier League champions as?Manchester United drop points        IPL-2018: KKR canter to 71-run win over Delhi        Watch Video: Mumbai Indians vs Delhi Daredevils / Pre-match analysis        Putin: attack on Syria act of aggression        
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International News
S Korea's Park jailed for 24 years over corruption
 
(Seoul, Apr 6, 2018): South Korea's disgraced former president Park Geun-hye was jailed for 24 years today for corruption, closing out a dramatic fall from grace for the country's first woman leader who became a figure of public fury and ridicule.

The sentence followed a trial lasting more than 10 months which ended with Park being found guilty on multiple criminal charges, including bribery and abuse of power.

"The amount of bribery the accused received or demanded in collaboration with Choi amounts to more than 23 billion won (USD 21.7 million)," Judge Kim Se-Yoon said, referring to Park's secret confidante and long-time friend Choi Soon-sil.

"I sentence the accused to 24 years in prison and 18 billion won in fines."

Park, 66, had boycotted most of the trial in protest at being held in custody. She was not present in court for today's judgement which, in a rare move, was broadcast live on television.

The daughter of assassinated dictator Park Chung-hee, Park took office in 2013 as a conservative icon who cast herself in the role of daughter of the nation -- incorruptible and beholden to none.

Less than four years later, she was impeached, stripped of all her powers and ousted from office on the back of months-long mass protests that brought millions onto the streets of Seoul and other cities.

The trigger was a snowballing graft scandal involving Park and Choi and accusations of graft, influence-peddling and taking bribes from corporate bigwigs in exchange for policy favours.

Much of the public anger was focused on Park's relationship with Choi and accusations that she let her childhood friend -- who held no formal position or security clearance -- meddle in state affairs, including high-level appointments and editing official speeches.

Choi is the daughter of a shadowy religious figure who had served as a mentor to Park for decades until his death in 1994. She was tried separately and sentenced in February to 20 years in prison.

Condemned in the media for her "Rasputin-like" influence over Park, Choi was convicted of using her presidential ties to squeeze tens of millions of dollars out of major South Korean businesses, including Samsung -- the world's top smartphone maker -- and retail giant Lotte.

The scandal reignited public criticism in South Korea of the cosy and often corrupt ties between top officials and the powerful, family-run conglomerates -- called "chaebol" -- that dominate the world's 11th-largest economy.

Park becomes the third former South Korean leader to be convicted on criminal charges after leaving office, joining Chun Doo-whan and Roh Tae-woo, who were both found guilty of treason and corruption in the 1990s.

Park's presidential predecessor Lee Myung-bak is currently in custody as prosecutors investigate multiple corruption charges involving him and his relatives.

Chun and Roh received presidential pardons after each spent around two years in jail -- a privilege that may elude Park for many years, said Jeong Han-wool, an analyst at the Seoul Hankook Research think-tank.

"Park has denied all charges against her and expressed no remorse or atonement -- legally as well as politically -- for what's probably the most shocking political scandal in our modern history," Jeong told AFP.

"Given her attitude and public anger over her scandal that remains raw, it will be difficult to create a political environment in favour of her release anytime soon."

Park's left-leaning successor, Moon Jae-in, came to power largely because of the public backlash against her and her conservative party, dimming hopes for a pardon under the current administration, he added.

There is some residual sympathy for Park among her core supporters, who have always seen her as a heroically tragic figure who lost both her parents to assassins and devoted her life to the service of her country.

The fact that she never married or had children was part of her appeal, given the nepotistic tendencies of many senior officials.

"I am married to the Republic of Korea. I have no children. South Koreans are my family," she once declared.(AFP)


Nawaz Sharif, daughter leave for London
Former US first lady Barbara Bush dead at 92
India, Sweden to enhance cooperation in defence, cyber security
Castro set to step aside as Cuban president, his reforms incomplete
Former FBI director James Comey makes shocking claims about Trump
Prince Harry, Meghan Markle to work as Commonwealth youth ambassadors
Putin: attack on Syria act of aggression
'Large part' of Syria chemical arsenal destroyed: France
Hope authorities bring Kathua rape perpetrators to justice: UN
Pakistan Supreme Court disqualifies Nawaz Sharif from holding office for life
India should take steps to ensure privacy in biometric identification programmes: IMF
Trump lauds US administration for handling IS in Syria
Six ministers quit Sri Lanka's troubled government
Mark Zuckerberg testimony: Facebook CEO says his data too compromised by Cambridge Analytica
Algeria struck by its worst-ever plane crash, more than 250 dead
Trump goes ballistic as FBI closes in, raids his personal lawyer
Poisoned Russian ex-spy's daughter Yulia Skripal discharged from hospital
Japanese man, 112, recognized as world's oldest male
Kim makes first official mention of US-N Korea talks
Iranians among 14 killed in Syria airbase attack, Israel to be blamed?
ENTERTAINMENT NEWS
Women being vocal is still new to the world: Priyanka Chopra
 (New Delhi, Apr 12, 2018): Priyanka Chopra believes that women have started to stand up agai  
Shooting of 'Student of the Year 2' begins in Dehradun
Challenging to play Thackeray, says Nawazuddin Siddiqui
Shah Rukh Khan's wax statue unveiled at Madame Tussauds Delhi
KERALA NEWS
Hate speech on Kathua rape victim: Case against Kotak Mahindra Bank employee Vishnu Nandakumar
 (Kochi, Apr 14, 2018): Kerala Police on Saturday said they have registered a case against a p
Gang attacks BJP leader in Thiruvananthapuram
Govt doctors on indefinite stir in Kerala
Radio Jockey's murder: Ali Bhai confesses to the crime
NATIONAL NEWS
Manmohan Singh on Kathua, Unnao rape cases: ‘PM Narendra Modi should follow own advice to me, speak more often’
 (New Delhi, Apr 18, 2018):Hitting out at Prime Minister Narendra Modi for his long silence ov
Kathua rape ‘barbaric’, says President Kovind
BJP ministers in J&K government asked to resign, to be replaced with new faces
Pakistan violates ceasefire in J-K's Rajouri
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