The Korea Herald

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Ex-President Park‘s sentencing to be broadcast live

By Jung Min-kyung

Published : April 3, 2018 - 16:40

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Former President Park Geun-hye’s sentencing hearing will be allowed to be televised live, a Seoul court said Tuesday.
 
Former President Park Geun-hye (Yonhap) Former President Park Geun-hye (Yonhap)

Park, who was impeached and arrested last year, faces a string of charges including bribery and abuse of power. The former president is also alleged to have allowed long-time confidante Choi Soon-sil to meddle in state affairs.

The decision was made by the three judges presiding over Park’s corruption trial, according to the Seoul Central District Court.

Park, 66, is set to face a verdict by the lowest court in the sentencing hearing scheduled for 2:10 p.m. on Friday.

Friday’s broadcast is to mark the first of its kind since the Supreme Court amended rules last year greenlighting a live broadcast of a trial if it is deemed necessary and of public interest.

“The judge panel decided to allow the live broadcast after taking into account various factors, including matters of public interest,” a court official said.

The equipment used to film the verdict will be provided by the court to keep order in the courtroom and avoid excessive media coverage, the official added.

The trial will be televised live despite Park’s disapproval -- the former President submitted a hand-written letter to the court on Monday objecting to such coverage. The court is said to have overruled her request given the public attention to the trial.

But Park is unlikely to appear in court on Friday as she has been adamant in boycotting the trial sessions since October 2017 in protest of the court’s extension of her arrest warrant.

Previously, the court had denied requests to live broadcast trials of Samsung Electronics Vice Chairman Lee Jae-yong and Park‘s longtime friend, Choi Soon-sil, both who are key figures in Park’s corruption scandal, citing the defendants‘ rights.

Lee was sentenced to five years in prison for offering bribes to Choi, but later had his convictions partly overturned on appeal.

State prosecutors have demanded a 30-year prison term for Park and a fine of 118.5 billion won ($111.7 million) for 18 charges, including receiving 59.2 billion won in bribes in collusion with Choi.

Friday‘s trial follows the court’s decision on Feb. 13 to sentence Choi to 20 years in prison for corruption and her role in the influence-peddling scandal that led to Park’s impeachment.

By Jung Min-kyung mkjung@heraldcorp.com)