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(LEAD) Appeals court increases sentence for ousted leader Park by 1 year to 25 years

All Headlines 11:11 August 24, 2018

(ATTN: UPDATES throughout with details of court ruling)

SEOUL, Aug. 24 (Yonhap) -- A Seoul appellate court on Friday increased the sentence for former President Park Geun-hye by one year in a massive corruption case that led to her removal from office.

The Seoul High Court sentenced Park, 66, to 25 years in prison and ordered her to pay a 20 billion won (US$17.8 million) fine.

She was sentenced to 24 years in jail and assessed 18 billion won in fines by a lower court on April 6 for conspiring with her longtime confidante, Choi Soon-sil, into forcing big conglomerates, including Samsung, to donate 77.4 billion won to two foundations under Choi's control.

The scandal led to her impreachment, then formal removal from office by the Constitutional Court in March last year.

Prosecutors maintained their demand for a 30-year jail term and a 118.5 billion won fine for Park on July 20.

The court will soon deliver its rulings on Choi and Ahn Jong-beom, Park's former chief policy aide, in the same trial. They were sentenced to 20 years and six years in prison, respectively.

Park was not present at the trial. She has been boycotting what she calls "politically motivated" court proceedings since last October, when the court extended her presentencing detention.

She has criticized the judiciary and prosecution for not handling her case fairly.

Friday's trial was not broadcast live on television, unlike the lower court sentencing hearing.

Former President Park Geun-hye walks into a courthouse in Seoul on Aug. 31, 2017. (Yonhap)

elly@yna.co.kr
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