South Korean court ex­tends de­ten­tion of ex-pres­i­dent Park

20 Hong Kong ac­tivists guilty of con­tempt in 2014 protest

Cebu Daily News - - WORLD -

Seoul, South Korea — A South Korean court on Fri­day ex­tended the de­ten­tion of for­mer pres­i­dent Park Geun-hye, who is on trial over broad cor­rup­tion al­le­ga­tions that led to her re­moval from of­fice and ar­rest in March.

The Seoul Cen­tral District Court is­sued an ad­di­tional six-month ar­rest war­rant for Park which will take ef­fect once the cur­rent war­rant ex­pires on Mon­day, ac­cord­ing to a court of­fi­cial who didn’t want to be named, cit­ing of­fice rules.

Prose­cu­tors said Park should be kept be­hind bars un­til the court reaches a ver­dict in her case, cit­ing con­cerns she might try to de­stroy ev­i­dence if re­leased. A ver­dict is ex­pected as early as be­fore the end of the year.

Park faces the possi- bil­ity of a lengthy prison term over charges that she col­luded with a friend to take tens of mil­lions of dol­lars from com­pa­nies in bribes and ex­tor­tion.

The scan­dal led to the in­dict­ments of dozens of peo­ple, in­clud­ing for­mer Cab­i­net min­is­ters, se­nior pres­i­den­tial aides and bil­lion­aire Sam­sung scion Lee Jae-yong, who has ap­pealed an Au­gust rul­ing that sen­tenced him to five years in prison for of­fer­ing bribes to Park and her friend in ex­change for busi­ness fa­vors.

Park was ar­rested and jailed on the last day of Ma rc h , w e e k s a f te r Seoul’s Con­sti­tu­tional Court up­held an im­peach­ment bill passed by law­mak­ers in De­cem­ber and for­mally re­moved her from of­fice. Mil­lions of peo­ple had an­grily but peace­fully marched in the streets for months call­ing for her ouster, turn­ing a large boule­vard near Seoul’s pres­i­den­tial palace into a sea of can­dle­light over dozens of week­ends.

A smaller but grow­ing num­ber of Park’s sup­port­ers — many of them in their 50s, 60s and 70s — has been ral­ly­ing near the court in re­cent months, call­ing for her re­lease. HONG KONG (AP) — A Hong Kong court has con­victed 20 ac­tivists, in­clud­ing stu­dent leader Joshua Wong, for de­fy­ing au­thor­i­ties try­ing to clear a protest site dur­ing mas­sive 2014 pro-democ­racy demon­stra­tions in the Chi­nese-con­trolled city.

A High Court judge found the group guilty of con­tempt of court on Fri­day for fail­ing to com­ply with a court or­der to va­cate the site pro­test­ers oc­cu­pied as they blocked ma­jor thor­ough­fares for 79 days.

Wong and 10 oth­ers ear­lier ad­mit­ted to the charge while nine oth­ers pleaded not guilty.

In Au­gust, Wong and two other stu­dent lead­ers were sent to prison af­ter the jus­tice sec­re­tary re­quested the courts re­view their ear­lier, more le­nient sen­tences for un­law­ful as­sem­bly re­lated to the protests.

The case was ad­journed for sen­tenc­ing at a later date.

AP PHOTO

File photo, for­mer South Korean pres­i­dent Park Geun-hye, front left, sits with her long­time friend Choi Soon-sil, right, for her trial at the Seoul Cen­tral District Court in Seoul, South Korea. Pyeongchang is a lit­tle-known des­ti­na­tion in one of South Korea’s poor­est prov­inces. A fi­nal push en­abled it to reach its spon­sor­ship tar­get of 940 bil­lion won ($830 mil­lion) in Septem­ber, with just five months to go. The na­tional gov­ern­ment asked the con­glom­er­ates for help. All the ma­jor ones signed on, af­ter the of­fice of then-pres­i­dent Park Geun-hye made a spe­cial re­quest and mul­ti­chan­nel pres­sures for fi­nan­cial as­sis­tance, said Joo Yu-min, a pro­fes­sor at the Na­tional Univer­sity of Sin­ga­pore.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Philippines

© PressReader. All rights reserved.