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The conviction of Park Geun-hye, former president of South Korea, over a corruption scandal has elicited mixed reactions from people here in this Asia Pacific country.

The Seoul Central District Court found the former leader guilty of 16 counts of bribery, abuse of power, and coercion.

The ex-president was also fined 18 billion won (US$16.8 million) - which was just a tenth of the amount requested by the prosecution.

Kim said Park has shown no remorse for her wrongdoing and continued to pass responsibility to others with "unconvincing excuses".

The verdict, broadcast live on South Korean television, represents "the culmination of a scandal which rocked the country, fuelling rage against political and business elites", the BBC reports.

The leader was, however, conspicuous by her absence at the court since she boycotted the trial accusing to be biased against her.

Park has a small group of fierce supporters - majority middle aged and older - who regularly stage rallies calling for her release and after the verdict was broadcast, thousands of them marched near the Seoul court to protest the ruling.

Korean Culture and Information Service, CC BY-SA 2.0)"The President abused the power which was given to her by the citizens", the judge said.

Park was also found guilty of abusing her power by blacklisting artists and cultural figures critical of her administration and exercising undue influence in the appointment of civil servants.

Park and Lee are not the only South Korean leaders to have been sent to prison. According to prosecutors charges, she had taken a bribe of at least euro 25m from companies like Samsung and the retail company Lotte.

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South Korea's presidential residence, the Blue House, issued a statement after the verdict calling it a "heartbreaking event for the nation".

Prosecutors in February recommended a punishment of 118.5 billion won in fines in addition to a 30-year prison term.

Choi was convicted and sentenced on Feb 13 to 20 years in jail.

The corruption scandal, which first began unraveling the Park presidency in the fall of 2016, ensnared dozens of government officials and businesses.

Park's mother is fatally shot by an ethnic Korean from Japan, claiming orders from then-North Korean leader Kim Il Sung, while her husband was making a speech in Seoul.

Park is the daughter of South Korea's former dictator Park Chung-hee and was the nation's only female president.

She was removed from the office after a lot of protests which is called the Candlelight Revolution.

"It's against fairness and justice if Park is to be released only serving her jail terms for two years while the people who colluded with still in prison", said Park of Minbyun.

She was arrested three weeks later.


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