ANL 28.17 Decreased By ▼ -0.63 (-2.19%)
ASC 16.76 Increased By ▲ 0.28 (1.7%)
ASL 23.95 Increased By ▲ 0.46 (1.96%)
AVN 91.66 Decreased By ▼ -0.16 (-0.17%)
BOP 9.71 Decreased By ▼ -0.11 (-1.12%)
BYCO 9.93 Decreased By ▼ -0.28 (-2.74%)
DGKC 113.50 Decreased By ▼ -0.70 (-0.61%)
EPCL 48.84 Decreased By ▼ -0.77 (-1.55%)
FCCL 21.66 Increased By ▲ 0.31 (1.45%)
FFBL 27.70 Increased By ▲ 1.21 (4.57%)
FFL 17.99 Decreased By ▼ -0.30 (-1.64%)
HASCOL 14.82 Decreased By ▼ -0.16 (-1.07%)
HUBC 86.45 Increased By ▲ 1.05 (1.23%)
HUMNL 7.35 Increased By ▲ 0.02 (0.27%)
JSCL 29.60 Decreased By ▼ -0.25 (-0.84%)
KAPCO 38.31 Decreased By ▼ -0.19 (-0.49%)
KEL 4.24 Decreased By ▼ -0.06 (-1.4%)
LOTCHEM 15.96 Decreased By ▼ -0.27 (-1.66%)
MLCF 43.55 Decreased By ▼ -0.52 (-1.18%)
PAEL 40.60 Decreased By ▼ -0.50 (-1.22%)
PIBTL 13.00 Decreased By ▼ -0.12 (-0.91%)
POWER 11.78 Increased By ▲ 0.67 (6.03%)
PPL 97.45 Decreased By ▼ -0.65 (-0.66%)
PRL 25.48 Decreased By ▼ -0.32 (-1.24%)
PTC 9.78 Decreased By ▼ -0.13 (-1.31%)
SILK 1.21 Decreased By ▼ -0.02 (-1.63%)
SNGP 46.49 Decreased By ▼ -0.30 (-0.64%)
TRG 97.38 Increased By ▲ 2.18 (2.29%)
UNITY 31.58 Decreased By ▼ -0.62 (-1.93%)
WTL 1.18 No Change ▼ 0.00 (0%)
BR100 4,856 Decreased By ▼ -11.74 (-0.24%)
BR30 24,507 Decreased By ▼ -1.43 (-0.01%)
KSE100 45,931 Decreased By ▼ -58.35 (-0.13%)
KSE30 19,110 Decreased By ▼ -68.04 (-0.35%)

SEOUL: South Korea's top court upheld on Thursday a 20-year jail sentence for former President Park Geun-hye on graft charges that led to her downfall, bringing an end to the legal process and so for the first time raising the possibility of a pardon.

Park became South Korea's first democratically elected leader to be thrown out of office when, in 2017, the Constitutional Court upheld a parliament vote to impeach her over a scandal that also landed the heads of two conglomerates in jail.

The daughter of a military dictator, Park took office in 2013 as South Korea's first woman president. She was brought down after being found guilty of colluding with a confidante to receive tens of billions of won from major conglomerates to help her family and fund non-profit foundations she owned.

Her case has been heard in different courts, including a retrial in July last year, but the Supreme Court's ruling on Thursday to uphold a 20-year jail term and fine of 18 billion won ($16.38 million) exhausts her legal avenues.

Park, 68, who has been in jail since March 31, 2017, has denied wrongdoing. She was not present in court.

The end of the legal process clears the way for a presidential pardon, which her supporters called for.

"President Park Geun-hye is innocent," the right-wing Our Republican Party said in a statement.

"The members of Our Republican Party want President Park to be freed as soon as possible."

The chief of the ruling Democratic party, Lee Nak-yon, has floated the idea of a pardon for Park and another ex-president, Lee Myung-bak, also in jail on corruption charges, in the name of national unity.

Park is a divisive figure in a country where old Cold War fault lines between right and left can still define political rivalry.

A top aide to President Moon Jae-in, who is a liberal, said the president would make a decision on the question of a pardon for Park that reflects the will of the people.

Society appears split down the middle.

A survey by the pollster Realmeter last week found 47.7% of respondents in favour of a pardon and 48% against.

Samsung Electronics Co Ltd Vice Chairman Jay Y. Lee faces a final court ruling on Monday on whether he returns to jail on charges he bribed an associate of Park.