Park Geun-hye (born 2 February 1952) is a South Korean politician and the daughter of South Korea's former dictator, the late Park Chung-hee. From 2013 to 2017, she was the 11th president of South Korea and the first female president of South Korea.
In October 2016, Park's chief aide Choi Soon-sil was accused of the crime of influence peddling after government official Ko Young-tae revealed that she had used her position to illegally coerce several business conglomerates to make donations to several foundations she controlled. Young-tae also revealed details of their relationship which caused many to suspect that Soon-sil had influenced Park on many policy decisions. Park publicly apologized for Soon-sil's behaviour on 26 October, and Soon-sil was formally indicted for abuse of power soon after.
On 3 December 2016, three members of the National Assembly tabled a motion to impeach Park on charges relating to the influence peddling. On 9th December, the National Assembly voted to impeach Park by 178 votes. The South Korean Constitutional Court began deliberating on whether or not to uphold the impeachment on 3 January 2017. The hearings closed on 27 February, and on 6 March special prosecutor Park Young-soo announced that he had found evidence that Park had conspired with Choi Soon-sil to solicit bribes from Samsung and the other conglomerates identified, and that they had colluded to blacklist 9000 artists, authors and musicians from government assistance, which constituted an abuse of power, opening up the possibility that Park could be indicted if the impeachment was upheld.
On 10th March 2017, the Constitutional Court unanimously upheld the decision to impeach Park. As a result, she was stripped of her presidential powers and ejected from the presidential residence. On 31st March, she was arrested and charged with 18 counts of abuse of power, coercion, bribery and leaking government secrets. She was ultimately convicted on 16 counts and sentenced to 24 years in prison, later increased to 25 years on appeal.
- Following her conviction, she was subsequently charged with misusing funds from the National Intelligence Service and interfering in the 2016 South Korean legislative election. She was convicted for both offences, resulting in her sentence being increased by seven years.
- In April 2014, she established a commission to monitor and prosecute government critics after her approval ratings collapsed following a fatal sea disaster.
- She was accused of violating the Public Official Election Act in June 2015.
- She has frequently praised and defended her father's regime.