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S. Korea court extends ex-leader Park’s lengthy prison term

August 24, 2018
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A banner showing a photo of former South Korean President Park Geun-hye is displayed to demand her release near the Seoul Central District Court in Seoul, South Korea, Friday, Aug. 24, 2018. South Korea's high court on Friday extended the lengthy prison sentence of Park for corruption in office. The sign read: "Nullity of impeachment." (AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon)

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — A South Korean high court on Friday extended the lengthy prison sentence of former President Park Geun-hye for corruption in office.

In April, a district court sentenced Park to 24 years in jail and fined her 18 billion won ($16.8 million) over bribery, extortion, abuse of power and other charges. That ruling came a year after she was removed from office following months of street rallies over the corruption scandal that also led to the arrests of dozens of high-profile figures.

The Seoul High Court on Friday handed out a 25-year prison sentence after concluding Park took more money in bribes than initially believed. The court increased her fine to 20 billion won ($17.8 million).

The court said both Park and prosecutors have one week to appeal.

Park, the daughter of late dictator Park Chung-hee, was elected as South Korea’s first female president in late 2012. Her stunning fall dealt a serious blow to conservatives in South Korea, helping liberal Moon Jae-in score an easy victory in a presidential by-election in May last year.

Park has called herself a victim of political revenge.

In July, Park received an additional eight years in prison for abusing state funds and violating election law in a separate election law. That made the 66-year-old face the prospect of more than three decades behind bars.

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