The former South Korean Opposition leader and presidential candidate, Mr. Kim Dae-Jung, was sentenced to?
The former South Korean Opposition leader and presidential candidate, Mr. Kim Dae-Jung, was sentenced to one year's imprisonment by a court in the capital, Seoul, on Saturday (13 December), on charges of electoral fraud.
Mr. Kim's trial has stretched over five years, held up by suspensions and appeal proceedings. Charges against the convicted former Opposition leader included making false accusations against the three-times elected South Korean President, Mr. Park Chung-hee, in the 1971 presidential election and irregularities in his National Assembly election campaigns of 1967 and 1971.
There was uproar in the packed courtroom when Mr. Kim stood up to protest against the presiding judge's rejection of his lawyers' call for a renewal of defence arguments.
He later told newsmen that he blamed outside interference for his conviction and vowed that he would appeal.
The 1971 presidential elections were the last held before President Park scraped the old South Korean constitution under martial law late that year. Mr. Kim was visiting Japan at the time, and decided to stay there to continue his campaign of outspoken opposition to what he described as the repression of President Park. But he was kidnapped from a Tokyo hotel and brought back to Seoul.
That incident strained relations between Japan and South Korea and marked the end of Mr. Kim's freedom to travel abroad. It also served to aggravate a severe hip injury he received in a car accident during the 1971 presidential campaign. According to newspaper reports supporters now say that he is in desperate need of medical treatment that cannot be provided in South Korea. They suggest that the year he will spend in prison will endanger his life.
SYNOPSIS: Former South Korean opposition leader and presidential candidate, Mr. Kim Dae-Jung, appeared in court in the capital, Seoul, on Saturday for sentencing on electoral fraud charges. He's been convicted for irregularities in the 1971 presidential campaign and National Assembly elections that year and in 1967.
Mr. Kim -- an outspoken opponent of South Korea's President Park Chung-hee -- became the centre of an international row two years ago after being kidnapped from a Tokyo hotel and brought home to South Korea from self-imposed exile.
In the courtroom, he stood rigidly as judges announced a sentence of one year's imprisonment. He told newsmen later the outcome had been swayed by outside interference.
Uproar followed as supporters tried to shutdown the presiding judge when he refused to accept defence arguments for a re-opening of the trial.