Front | News | Sports | Opinion | Classifieds | Subscribe
 Top Stories
  Severe Weather
  Bird Flu
  Mideast Crisis
 Personal Finance
  Sports Columns
  College Hoops
 Raw News
 Archive Search
 Multimedia Gallery
 AP Video Network
 in History
Aug 20, 3:56 AM EDT

Ex-S. Korean prime minister to go to prison over bribery

Buy AP Photo Reprints
Swift negotiations free U.S. journalists
Timeline of U.S.-North Korea relations
Timeline of North Korea's nuclear and missile programs
Depth of Field: North Korea
A look at Kim Jong Il
Truth emerges about Kim Soo-im
Commission: U.S. military killed Korean refugees
South Koreans Protest U.S. Beef Accord
S. Korea Women Keep Diving Tradition Alive
Bittersweet Homecoming: Koreans Return Home After 68 Years in Russia
Latest News
Rival Koreas set date for talks preparing family reunions

New airport's Internet room a closed window on North Korea

North Korea reports dozens of casualties after heavy rains

South Korea halts propaganda broadcasts as Koreas reach deal

In N. Korean capital, residents used to life in war's shadow

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) -- A former South Korean prime minister will be sent to prison after the country's top court on Thursday upheld her bribery conviction, court officials said.

The Supreme Court rejected the appeal by Han Myung-sook, who was sentenced to two years for taking about $758,850 in kickbacks from a businessman in a 2013 ruling by the Seoul High Court, according to court officials and Han's office.

Han has avoided jail since 2013, while she appealed the sentence.

Supreme Court officials said their ruling is final.

Han, 71, served as South Korea's first female prime minister in 2006 and 2007 under former liberal President Roh Moo-hyun, who committed suicide in 2009 amid a separate bribery scandal.

Han has denied the charges, claiming that the investigations were politically motivated by conservatives who took power after the Roh government in early 2008.

"Today, I became a prisoner chained by political suppression. I'll abide by the court's ruling but regrettably I cannot accept it," Han said in a statement.

Han, a strong advocate of women's rights, also served as South Korea's first minister of gender equality and family under late President Kim Dae-jung, Roh's liberal predecessor, and as an environment minister under Roh.

In the late 1970s, she was jailed for two years under the then-authoritarian government for alleged involvement in pro-communist activities, but her work was later recognized as part of democratization efforts.

The prime minister is South Korea's No. 2 job but is largely a ceremonial position. Power is concentrated in the presidency, although the prime minister leads the country if the president becomes incapacitated.

© 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Learn more about our Privacy Policy and Terms of Use.