Prosecutors have demanded 30 years in prison for impeached former President Park Geun-hye. The prosecution said in the lower court hearing that she monopolized state affairs and harmed constitutional values by privatizing the presidential power entrusted by the people.
At the hearing Tuesday held in the absence of Park, prosecutors called for the prison term while also seeking a fine of 118-point-five billion won.
The prosecution argued that Park privatized presidential authority, and tainted the nation's constitutional history with the first presidential impeachment.
Shortly after the Constitutional Court upheld her parliamentary impeachment in March last year, Park was arrested over the massive influence-peddling scandal involving her longtime confidante Choi Soon-sil.
She was indicted in April on 18 corruption charges, including bribery, abuse of power and leaking state secrets.
She is accused of colluding with Choi to extort funds from large conglomerates and receiving or demanding bribes from Samsung Electronics, which partly funded Choi's daughter's equestrian career.
Park is also blamed for the government's blacklisting of artists deemed critical of her administration's policies.
Park has pleaded not guilty. She has raised questions over the fairness of her trial and boycotted legal proceedings since October when the court extended her detention.
A court ruling will be issued on April sixth.
Making its final case, Park's defense team asked for consideration of her achievements.
Regarding the charge of her power abuse over certain firms, her lawyers said that Park's intentions were of good faith as she sought the interests of the country and the people, and was not chasing after her own gain.
They said she may be criticized for failing to prevent her confidante's wrongdoings, but not all of her actions can be seen as illegal.
Four ruling and opposition parties have said the heavy penalty is a “natural outcome.”
The ruling Democratic Party said the former leader deserves it in light of her crimes. However, the main opposition Liberty Korea Party strongly protested the demand of 30 years in prison, claiming it is harsher than capital punishment.
The prosecution had earlier sought 25 years for Choi Soon-sil and believed the sentence should be heavier for President Park. As the court handed down a 20-year prison term for civilian Choi, the verdict is expected to be heavier for Park who was a public servant. .