The court hearing was broadcast live by South Korea’s largest television channels.
The political scandal around Park broke out in October 2016, when she was accused of having allowed her longtime friend and close associate Choi Soon-sil, who did not hold any official post, to get involved in state affairs. She was also accused of being complicit in Choi’s extortion of $54.9 million from big conglomerates, including Samsung, in exchange for business favors.
The scandal led to Park’s impeachment in December 2016, which was confirmed by the country's Constitutional Court on March 10. Twenty days later, on March 30, she was arrested. During the court hearings, South Korean prosecutors demanded that the former president be sentenced to 30 years in jail and asked the court to fine her $110 million.