Former South Korean president Park Geun-hye, who was impeached last year amid a sensational corruption scandal, was given 24 years of imprisonment.
"Park abused her power given by the people of the Republic of Korea, only to breach the freedom that corporates can enjoy in their management", said presiding Judge Kim Se-yoon at Seoul Central District Court. It ordered a fine of about 16.8 million dollars. It said Park was unaware that the money was in return for helping Samsung complete a merger of group firms that was needed for a smooth leadership succession.
During her state visit to Kenyan in May 2016, Park reportedly 360 erectile dysfunction Viagra pills and the generic version of the drug sparking controversy over intended use.
Her supporters, mostly elderly South Koreans, have insisted on her innocence, holding weekend marches in downtown Seoul and shouting for her release.
Amid all the political point scoring and legal procedures, massive protests triggered across South Korea both in support and against Park.
South Korea's first female leader, also became its first president to be impeached when she was ejected from office a year ago, then swiftly arrested for corruption, reported the Washington Post. She was indicted the following month. She has one week to appeal the decision.
The court, however, found Park not guilty of two of the charges the prosecution levied against her.
"The rule of law in this country is dead today", said Han Geun-hyung, a 27-year-old Park supporter.
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"Despite all these crimes the accused denied all the charges against her, displayed no remorse and showed an incomprehensible attitude by blaming Choi and other. officials", he said, referring to Park's secret confidante and long-time friend Choi Soon-sil.
Despite the corruption charges, there were almost 1000 supporters of Park who were eagerly waiting outside the courtroom to get their leader freed.
Park is the daughter of former President Park Chung-hee, a dictator who ruled the nation for 18 years until his assassination in 1979.
Park's saga is only the latest addition to a long line scandals involving the country's leaders.
"Given her attitude and public anger over her scandal that remains raw, it will be hard to create a political environment in favour of her release any time soon", Jeong told AFP. She was arrested weeks later.
Two others, Chun Doo-hwan and Roh Tae-woo, were convicted for treason and corruption in the 1990s.
Lee Myung-bak, president from 2008-2013, was a strong anti-corruption proponent. Lee was convicted of bribing Park in a bid to tighten his grip over the company. She was formally removed from office by the Constitutional Court on March 10 the following year.