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Ex-South Korea’s President given eight more years behind bars

Former South Korea’s President, Park Geun-hye, who was impeached and convicted of charges of corruption last year has been given a further eight-years behind bar for fresh charges.

Park, the first female president in the country’s history was absent as she refused to attend the proceedings in the South Central District Court, was convicted for collecting money in the tune of $2.5 million from the National Intelligence Service (NIS) and also for intervening in the selection for her ruling party’s candidates.

She was given six-years for the corruption allegations and a further two years for the illegal imposition on her party

According to court proceedings. the 66-years old Park allegedly squandered taxpayer money on maintaining her personal house, and to finance various businesses including a boutique and a massage parlour.

She was impeached last year after huge protests based on her scandalous lifestyle and corruption and was consequently sentenced to 24 years in prison.

The latest penalties is consecutively which means she would now spend 32 years in jail.

Three former NIS chiefs testified they had funnelled the funds to Park on her orders, the court said.

The judge rebuked Park, who denied the charges, for being “un-cooperative” throughout the court hearing and questioning by prosecutors.

The prosecution had also asked the court to extend her sentence to 30 years because, according to them, she never repented

“The accused has never repented or made any sincere apology before the people,” prosecutors said in a statement. “And since October 2017, she has never made any appearance at court.”

In her defence, her lawyers said the convictions should be overturned as the funds in question were “donated” to her foundations, and that her conviction was politically motivated.

The Seoul High Court adjourned the case to August 24, when it will issue its decision.

At her first trial, Park was convicted of receiving or demanding more than $20 million from conglomerates, sharing secret state documents, “blacklisting” artists critical of her policies, and firing officials who resisted her abuses of power.

Park is the first daughter of late dictator Park Chung-hee, who was accused of overseeing human rights abuses during his term in the 70’s. He was later assassinated in 1979 by his spy chief.

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