South Korean court to allow live broadcast of Park verdict

The Associated Press

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — A South Korean court said Tuesday it’ll allow a rare live broadcast of the verdict at the trial of disgraced ex-President Park Geun-hye later this week.

Park was arrested last year on a slew of corruption charges after being removed from office following months of huge rallies calling for her ouster. Prosecutors are demanding a 30-year prison term if the court finds her guilty.

The Seoul Central District Court said it decided to allow the hearing to be televised live in consideration of public interests. It would mark the first broadcast for a verdict at the trial of a district court, though trials at higher-level courts have been previously broadcast such as one that dismissed Park from office.

Park has boycotted court sessions since last October and it’s unlikely she’ll attend for the verdict. Both Park and prosecutors can appeal Friday’s ruling.

Among the key charges are that she colluded with a longtime confidante to take tens of millions of dollars from companies in bribes and extortion.

Park, the daughter of a deeply divisive dictator, became South Korea’s first female president in early 2013.

Nearly all South Korean presidents have been arrested or embroiled in scandal at the close of their terms or after leaving office. Last month, Park’s conservative predecessor Lee Myung-bak was arrested and jailed over a separate corruption scandal.