By Alex Jensen
SEOUL (AA) – Former South Korean President Park Geun-hye had a year added to her initial 24-year prison sentence by the Seoul High Court on Friday.
Park, 66, was convicted on 16 counts of corruption in April following a wide-ranging power abuse scandal.
Prosecutors asked for her sentence to be extended to 30 years last month, on the same day that Park was ordered to spend eight years behind bars in a separate case related to illegally receiving regular payments from the country's National Intelligence Service.
As with her previous court dates, Park refused to attend her sentencing Friday, as she believes she is the victim of politically motivated legal proceedings.
Her original trial centred on her relationship with a private confidante, Choi Soon-sil, as the pair were found to have forced millions of dollars’ worth of donations from some of the nation’s largest conglomerates.
Choi's 20-year sentence was upheld by the Seoul High Court on Friday.
The court's verdict also painted Samsung in a worse light than April's decision.
According to local news agency Yonhap, the judges ruled there was an "implicit understanding" between Park and Samsung Electronics Vice Chairman Lee Jae-yong, with the ex-president found to have backed a Samsung merger in return for payments to foundations linked to her confidante Choi.