Ex-South Korean Leader Park Gets 24-Year Prison Term

(From AP News)

Former South Korean President Park Geun-hye was formally convicted of an array of corruption charges and sentenced to 24 years in prison on Friday, a year after she was driven from office and arrested over a scandal that saw months of massive street rallies calling for her ouster.

The conviction, which she can appeal, is the latest indignity for South Korea’s first female president, who grew up in the presidential palace as the daughter of a former dictator and even served as first lady after her mother’s assassination. The harshness of the sentence is likely to deepen divisions in a country still wrestling with the aftermath of the most serious political turmoil in years.

Once seen as the darling of South Korean conservatives, Park earned the nickname “Queen of Elections” for her record leading her party to victory in tight races, culminating in her own election as president in 2012. Yet that was all undone by the scandal involving a close confidant and bribery, extortion and other allegations.

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