Park’s sentence reduced on spy agency fund case

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Park’s sentence reduced on spy agency fund case

A Seoul appellate court on Thursday sentenced former President Park Geun-hye to five years in prison and a forfeit of 2.7 billion won ($2.3 million) for illegally taking off-the-books funds from the state spy agency.

Park was indicted in January last year on charges of accepting 3.5 billion won from three chiefs of the National Intelligence Service (NIS) from May 2013 to September 2016 in collusion with her secretaries and sentenced by the Seoul Central District Court in July of the same year to six years in jail and a forfeit of 3.3 billion won.

At that time, the district court acquitted Park of bribery and applied a charge of loss of state funds in determining her sentence.

But the Seoul High Court reduced Park’s prison term and forfeit by one year and 600 million won, respectively, by acquitting her of part of the state fund loss charge and applying a charge of embezzlement instead.

With the latest ruling, 67-year-old Park’s aggregate prison terms imposed by local and appellate courts amounts to 32 years.

Following her ouster from the presidency in 2017, Park was sentenced to a 25-year prison term and a 20 billion-won fine after being convicted of power abuse and various corruption charges. The case is now pending in the Supreme Court.

Separately, the Seoul High Court sentenced Park to a two-year prison term last November on charges of illegally interfering in the then ruling party’s candidate nominations ahead of the general elections in April 2016. The jail term was confirmed after neither Park nor prosecutors appealed to the Supreme Court.

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