A South Korean court is set to issue a verdict against disgraced former President Park Geun-hye over a corruption scandal. Yet that was all undone by the scandal involving a close confidant and bribery, extortion and other allegations. But while public anger was intense, her activities were seen as merely another example of the murky ties between government and business at the upper echelons of Korean society.
Korean Culture and Information Service, CC BY-SA 2.0)"The President abused the power which was given to her by the citizens", the judge said. "The responsibility lies with the defendant who has abandoned her constitutional duties", Judge Kim Se-yun told the court.
Park has one week to decide whether to appeal the verdict.
She was also charged for soliciting bribes from the head of the Samsung Group for government favours.
Most of the money was meant to bankroll non-profit foundations run by Choi's family and confidants, and to fund the education of Choi's horse-riding daughter, the court said.
She was dismissed in March 2017 after being impeached but denied wrongdoing, Channel News Asia reports.
Choi's sinister influence on Park was reportedly one of the reasons he was assassinated. She quickly becomes a heavyweight in conservative politics.
Some of Park's supporters rallied near the Seoul Central District Court Friday morning, holding signs that read "Park is not guilty" or "A trial that murders".
RBI policy review: Repo rate unchanged at 6 pc
For the second half 2018-'19, it has predicted an inflation outlook of 4.4%, lower than its last forecast of 4.5% to 4.6%. The benchmark lending rate was reduced by 0.25 percentage points to 6 per cent last August, bringing it to a 6-year low.
Park has been held at a detention center near Seoul since her arrest in March 2017, but she refused to attend Friday's court session, citing sickness.
South Korea's presidential residence Blue House reacted to the ruling saying it was a "heartbreaking event" for the country. But he's also remembered for imprisoning and torturing dissidents.
Park's departure from the presidential palace in Seoul past year plunged her conservative Saenuri Party into turmoil.
Weeks of massive anti-Park protests broke out after the media exposes, leading to Park's impeachment by parliament in December 2016. She was also convicted of leaking confidential presidential documents to her friend. Park once described Choi as someone who helped her when she had difficulties. This was to help Choi's family and fund non-profit foundations owned by her.
In a presidential byelection triggered by Park's early exit, Moon won an easy victory against wounded conservatives.
But she is not the only former president to have been arrested for corruption.
The country's first female leader, who was also the first president to be impeached while in office, is required to request a retrial within a week if she disagrees with the ruling.
Roh Moo-hyun, president from 2003-2008, was accused of accepting millions of dollars in bribes.
Chun Doo-hwan, a former military dictator, was found guilty of mutiny, treason and corruption in 1996.