Prosecutors Seek 30 years Jail Term For Former South Korea President

South Korean prosecutors on Tuesday demanded a 30-year-jail term for former president Park Geun-Hye, sacked over a wide-ranging corruption scandal as her supporters endured the winter cold outside the Seoul court calling for her release.

Park, the 66-year-old daughter of a former dictator was dismissed in March 2017 and is on trial for charges of bribery, abuse of power and coercion in a case that rocked the country's business and political elite of which she denies any wrongdoing.

"We ask the court to hand down 30 years in prison and (a fine of) 118.5 billion won ($110 million) for the accused, who must take ultimate responsibility for the scandal as the 18th president of this country," prosecutors said in a statement.

They also added that in collusion with her confidante and long-time friend Choi Soon-sil, the pair received bribes from three South Korean companies, Samsung, Lotte and SK, in return for favorable policies.

"Park brought a national crisis by letting a person who has never been involved in state management rule the country. She and Choi took tens of billions of won in bribes and yet denied her crimes and obstructed efforts to establish the truth."

"The accused (Park) abused her power delegated by the people for private gain for Choi and herself… violated core constitutional values on the protection of the market economy and free democracy," the statement said.

"Consequently, the accused became the first president to be sacked through impeachment, leaving an indelible scar on the country's constitutional history."

Lawyer representing the former president, Park Seung-gil, made a emotional appeal, asking the court for mercy, saying she did her best in leading the country. 

Park is also being charged with compelling firms to donate large sums of money to two dubious foundations controlled by Choi, who was found guilty of abuse of power, bribery and interfering in government business by the Seoul Central District Court earlier this month. She was sentenced her to 20 years in prison. 

A date for the verdict on Park may be announced at the end of Tuesday's session.

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