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Corruption verdict on ex-president to be televised live
South Korean ousted leader Park Geun-hye arrives at a court in Seoul, South Korea, Aug 25, 2017. [Photo/Agencies]

SEOUL - The corruption verdict and sentencing of South Korea's ousted ex-president Park Geun-hye will be televised live, a Seoul court said on Tuesday, in a case that could see her jailed for up to 30 years.

The 66-year-old daughter of a former leader was impeached and arrested in March 2017 over a wide-ranging corruption scandal that exposed shady links between big business and politics and prompted massive colored wristbandsstreet protests.

The Seoul Central District Court said it would allow the verdict and sentencing of Park, set for Friday afternoon, to be broadcast live in light of high public interest - the first time a trial has been televised live in South Korea.

Park has been boycotting her trial hearings since the court extended her detention last October, accusing the institution of being biased against her.

Even though she is widely expected not to attend Friday's verdict and sentencing, she has asked the court not to allow live TV coverage of the hearing.

Prosecutors have demanded a 30-year-jail sentence and a 118.5 billion won ($110 million) fine for Park, saying she must take responsibility for the scandal as the former president.

Park is accused of colluding with her secret confidante and longtime friend Choi Soon-sil, who has been convicted, for taking tens of millions of dollars from conglomerates in return for policy favors.

Choi was sentenced to 20 years in prison, five years less than prosecutors had demanded.

Park's downfall gave the left-leaning Democratic Party the upper hand in the presidential[MG_SEO] election last May, which was easily won by Moon Jae-in.

Park has been in custody for almost a year at a detention center near Seoul, where she has refused to see any visitors, including her brother and sister, except for her two lawyers.

Aside from the 30 to 60 minutes in which she is allowed to take her daily outdoor walk, she confines herself to her 10-square meter solitary cell, spending most of the day reading novels and cartoons and writing what might be a memoir, according to local news reports.

She eats every meal but usually leaves half of the portion, the reports said, adding that she has recently purchased two books on stretching as she is reportedly suffering from arthritis on her knees and back pain.

Agence France - Presse