S. Korea's Humiliated Former President Faces a New Ordeal

Park Geun-hye is indicted on corruption charges and faces life in prison
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Apr 17, 2017 6:03 AM CDT
S. Korea's Humiliated Former President Faces a New Ordeal
Former South Korean President Park Geun-hye faces serious prison time if convicted.   (Ahn Young-joon)

South Korean prosecutors on Monday indicted ex-President Park Geun-hye on bribery, extortion, abuse of power, and other high-profile corruption charges that could potentially send her to jail for life, reports the AP. It is the latest in a series of humiliations for Park, who was impeached in December, stripped of power in March, and has been in a detention facility since being arrested last month. Park will remain jailed and be escorted from the detention center to a Seoul court for a trial that is to start in coming weeks and could take as long as six months. It is unclear if the trial will start before a May 9 special election that will determine her successor.

Park, 65, was elected South Korea's first female president in late 2012. The country will now watch as she is forced to stand in court while handcuffed, bound with rope, and possibly dressed in prison garb. If convicted, her bribery charge carries the biggest punishment, ranging from 10 years in prison to life imprisonment. While deeply unpopular among many South Koreans, Park still has supporters, and some conservative politicians and media outlets are already demanding that authorities pardon her if she's convicted. Prosecutors also indicted Shin Dong-bin, the chairman of Lotte, South Korea's fifth-largest business conglomerate, on a charge of offering a bribe of $6 million to Park and her friend Choi Soon-sil in exchange for a lucrative government license. (More Park Geun-hye stories.)

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