The verdict for former South Korean President Park Geun-hye is out.
"She was South Korea's first female president, and she was South Korea's first impeached president. And now, that same former leader Park Geun-hye will have to spend the rest of her life behind bars."
"I hereby sentence defendant Park Geun-hye to 24 years in prison."
The court sentenced Park to 24 years in prison and fined her more than 16-million U.S. dollars.
Among the 18 charges, including bribery, abuse of power, and leaking state secrets, the court found her guilty of 16 counts.
They include Park soliciting more than 72-million U.S. dollars in bribes from conglomerates, such as Samsung and Lotte, to fund the Mir Foundation and the K-Sports Foundation -- both controlled by her close confidante Choi Soon-sil.
Her hefty sentence did not come as not much of a surprise, as the court found her accomplices guilty, many of whose charges overlap with hers.
But Park has a week to appeal to the Seoul Central District Court, where she might have a small chance of the sentence being reduced.
“We know that the biggest fish they thought was Samsung chairman Lee Jae-yong, but on appeal, his case got a lenient degree, and he was released on a suspended sentence, so that might be an implication that there might be a chance. I think it’s a slim chance, but there might be a chance that if former presiden Park appeals, there might be some room for leniency.”
Loyal supporters of Park Geun-hye are, of course, angry at the verdict.
Large groups protested her initial arrest last year and were out in force all Friday afternoon.
To keep the peace, Friday evening there were some 4-thousand police patrolling the court complex.
Park Hee-jun, Arirang News.