Ex- S.Korean President Park to only know her verdict tonight?

Former Pres. Park Geun-hye Won't Appear in Trial to be Broadcast Live

Former Pres. Park Geun-hye Won't Appear in Trial to be Broadcast Live

Park was impeached in late 2016 and then officially removed from office a year ago. Park can appeal to a higher court. Prosecutors in February demanded a 30-year prison term.

During her trial, it was alleged that Park colluded with a friend, Choi Soon-sil, and a former presidential aide, to pressure big businesses into donating to two foundations set up to back her policy initiatives. "She abused her power as the president and received 14 billion won worth of bribes from Samsung and Lotte, and requested 8.9 billion won from SK Group".

Media reports say that Choi's father was a cult leader and allegedly used his ties with Park to take bribes from government officials and businessmen.

Park was also convicted of the charges related to the her government's creation and management of an artist blacklist deemed critical of her government. In February, a court handed down a 20 year sentence to Choi for her role in the scandal.

Reportedly, Park still has a small group of fierce supporters who regularly stage rallies calling for her release. Park protested about the live broadcast a day ago, but the authorities allowed today's verdict to be broadcast live for extraordinary public interests.

She exploited her position not just for financial gain, but also to build the equestrian career of her daughter, who was admitted to Ewha and selected to represent South Korea in the 2014 Asian Games. But he's also remembered for imprisoning and torturing dissidents.

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The 66-year-old politician was elected to the country's national assembly five times. A tragic figure after the separate assassinations of her mother and father in the 1970s, she rose to political prominence helped by nostalgia for her father's rule. A presidential election in May saw the victory of liberal Moon Jae-in, whose administration has overseen a thawing of relations between South and North Korea.

Park and Choi were childhood friends and Choi swiftly became the leader's most trusted confidante.

Choi is the daughter of a cult leader, who - as stated in a leaked 2007 U.S. diplomatic cable - had "complete control over Park's body and soul during her formative years". But her relations with the Choi family have long haunted her political career.

Moon's office described Park's fate as "heartbreaking" for the nation. The protests snowballed into a popular phenomenon, with millions of citizens rallying in central Seoul on successive weekends in what is now called "The Candlelit Revolution".

Her predecessor, Lee Myung-bak, who held the presidential office from 2008 to 2013, is also now in detention as he is suspected of multiple corruption charges.

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