In order to provide an overview for busy in-house counsel and compliance professionals, we summarize below some of the most important international anti-corruption developments from the past month, with links to primary resources. This month we ask: Which companies resolved FCPA allegations involving alleged misconduct in Romania, Russia, West Africa, and the United States? What changes were made in the anti-corruption enforcement regimes in China, Saudi Arabia, and Singapore? Which current and former world leaders are facing anti-corruption scrutiny in France, Korea, and Peru? The answers to these questions and more are here in our March 2018 Top Ten list.
1. Maryland-based Nuclear Transportation Company Resolves Russia FCPA Allegations with DOJ. On March 13, 2018, the Department of Justice (“DOJ”) announced that Transport Logistics International Inc. had agreed to pay $2 million and enter into a three-year deferred prosecution agreement (DPA) in the District of Maryland to resolve allegations that it bribed an official of JSC Techsnabexport (TENEX), a subsidiary of Russia’s State Atomic Energy Corporation, in order to receive various business advantages. According to the DPA, the company created invoices for services that were never provided and wired approximately $1.7 million to shell companies in several countries to further the scheme. DOJ noted that the company’s inability to pay was factored into the $2 million penalty amount. In August 2015, DOJ announced that the company’s co-president, Daren Condrey, had pleaded guilty to conspiring to violate the FCPA and to commit wire fraud, while the other co-president, Mark Lambert, was charged with FCPA, wire fraud, and money laundering counts in January 2018. The official, Vadim Mikerin, pleaded guilty to money laundering charges in August 2015 and was sentenced to 48 months’ imprisonment in December 2015.
2. Canada-based Mining Company Resolves West Africa FCPA Allegations with SEC. On March 26, 2018, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) announced that Kinross Gold had agreed to pay a civil penalty of $950,000 to resolve alleged violations of the FCPA’s accounting provisions. According to the SEC Order, from September 2010 through at least 2014, the company operated gold mines in Mauritania and Ghana without devising and maintaining adequate internal controls, despite red flags identified during the due diligence process when those operations were acquired in 2010. The Order alleges that some of the same problematic practices identified in the due diligence process, such as allowing low-level employees to contract with vendors and make payments with petty cash, continued post-acquisition. The company also allegedly contracted with a “consultant” to facilitate contact with high-level government officials in Mauritania without conducting the heightened due diligence required by the company’s policies. The company neither admitted nor denied the SEC’s findings. In its press release regarding the resolution, the company stated that DOJ told the company in November 2017 that it had closed its parallel investigation without taking an enforcement action.
3. Israel-based Real Estate and Development Company Resolves Romania and U.S. FCPA Allegations with SEC. On March 9, 2018, SEC announced that Elbit Imaging Ltd. had agreed to pay a $500,000 civil penalty to resolve alleged violations of the FCPA’s accounting provisions. According to the SEC Order, Elbit and one of its majority-owned indirect subsidiaries paid millions of dollars to third-party offshore consultants and sales agents in connection with a real estate development project in Romania and the sale of a large portfolio of real estate assets in the United States without proof of actual performance. According to SEC, the Romanian payments “may have been used to make corrupt payments to Romanian government officials or were embezzled.” According to SEC, a former executive caused the companies to enter into a sales agent contract with one sales agent, which then, unbeknownst to anyone else at the companies, agreed to pay, and ultimately did pay, 98% of its commission fee to a second sales agent that was indirectly beneficially owned by the former executive. The company, which neither admitted nor denied SEC’s findings, self-disclosed the alleged misconduct to SEC.
4. France-based Pharmaceutical Company Discloses DOJ Declination of Middle East and Africa FCPA Allegations. On March 7, 2018, Sanofi S.A. announced in a securities filing that DOJ told the company in February 2018 that it was closing its inquiry into allegations that the company’s non-U.S. subsidiaries had made improper payments to healthcare professionals in the Middle East and Africa from 2007 to 2012. According to reports, the company self-disclosed to SEC and DOJ in October 2014 potentially improper payments to doctors in Kenya and other East African nations in order to influence their prescribing decisions. The company is still cooperating with SEC’s review of the allegations.
5. Former Engineering Company Executive Pleads Guilty to Argentina FCPA Allegations. On March 15, 2018, DOJ announced that former Siemens executive Eberhard Reichert had pleaded guilty in the Southern District of New York to one count of conspiring to violate the FCPA’s accounting provisions and to commit wire fraud. Reichert, a German citizen, was arrested in Croatia in September 2017, almost six years after being charged with taking part in a bribery scheme to win a $1 billion contract with the Argentine government to produce national identity cards. Reichert pleaded not guilty to the charges and was released on bond in December 2017. DOJ did not announce Reichert’s sentencing date. One of Reichert’s co-defendants, Andres Truppel, pleaded guilty in September 2015 and has yet to be sentenced. Six additional co-defendants have yet to be arrested.
6. China Creates New Anti-corruption Agency. On March 20, 2018, China’s legislature passed the Supervision Law, granting extremely broad investigative powers to a new anti-corruption agency—the National Supervision Commission (NSC)—established by constitutional amendment earlier in the month. The Supervision Law centralizes in the NSC various supervisory and anti-corruption responsibilities previously held by different government agencies and the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). The NSC is tasked with investigating criminal, ethical, and professional violations committed by “state functionaries who exercise public powers,” even if the functionaries are not CCP members. The Supervision Law also provides the NSC with expansive powers, including, among others, the powers to compel the production of evidence, detain suspects for up to six months, and freeze assets. This is a significant development that will change the anti-corruption regulatory and enforcement landscape in mainland China. Businesses operating in China should be mindful that, even if they are not likely to be targeted by the NSC for investigation, they may need to respond to NSC requests for assistance. (See our client alert for more on the NSC.)
7. Saudi Arabia Establishes Specialized Anti-corruption Units. On March 11, 2018, the Saudi Press Agency announced that King Salman had established specialized anti-corruption units of prosecutors tasked with investigating corruption cases in the country. According to the announcement, the move is intended to increase the effectiveness and speed of anti-corruption efforts and reflects the King’s growing concern over corruption. In January 2018, the Kingdom announced the end of a corruption probe that reportedly yielded over $100 billion in settlements.
8. Singapore Introduces Deferred Prosecution Agreements. On March 19, 2018, Singapore’s Parliament passed the Criminal Justice Reform Bill (Bill No. 14/2018), which significantly amended the country’s Criminal Procedure Code (CPC) and Evidence Act. Among other things, the Bill introduces deferred prosecution agreements (DPAs) as a tool to combat charges of corruption, money laundering, and violations of the Singapore Securities and Futures Act against corporations (but not against individuals). The Bill provides that Singapore’s High Court must approve a DPA, which must be fair, reasonable, and in the interests of justice. Singapore now joins the United States, the United Kingdom, and France in the ranks of countries using DPAs, while Australia and Canada are actively considering introducing legislation providing for the use of this enforcement tool. (See our April 2017, September 2017, November 2017, and February 2018 Top Tens for discussions of other countries’ interest in DPAs.)
9. OECD Working Group on Bribery Evaluates Polish, Swiss Anti-corruption Enforcement Efforts. In March 2018, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development’s (OECD) Working Group on Bribery released reports on Poland’s and Switzerland’s enforcement of the OECD Anti-Bribery Convention. The Working Group on Bribery is made up of the 43 countries—including Poland and Switzerland—that are signatories to the Convention. The parties to the Convention are subject to a rigorous peer review process.
- OECD Praises Swiss Enforcement Efforts. On March 27, 2018, the OECD Working Group on Bribery announced that it had completed its Phase 4 review of Switzerland’s enforcement of the OECD Anti-Bribery Convention. The Working Group concluded that Switzerland has “cracked down on the bribery of foreign public officials in recent years,” convicting six individuals and five companies and opening over 100 new investigations since 2012. The Working Group also commended Switzerland’s active cooperation with other countries in anti-corruption investigations and its efforts to seize and confiscate the proceeds of bribery. The Working Group recommended that Switzerland increase sanctions for foreign bribery violations and protections for private sector whistleblowers.
- OECD Criticizes Polish Enforcement Efforts. On March 22, 2018, the OECD Working Group on Bribery announced that it was “disappointed” by Poland’s failure to implement key recommendations set out in the Phase 3 review of Poland’s enforcement of the OECD Anti-Bribery Convention in June 2013. Among other things, the Working Group stated that Poland must strengthen its corporate liability regime, increase corporate fines, eliminate the application of the “impunity” provision in its Penal Code that allows bribe perpetrators to escape punishment through self-disclosure, and strengthen whistleblower protections.
10. Current and Former World Leaders Face Anti-corruption Scrutiny.
- Former South Korean President Lee Myung-bak Arrested. On March 22, 2018, former President of South Korea Lee Myung-bak was arrested at his private residence on charges of bribery, embezzlement, and tax evasion. Lee is accused of taking approximately $10 million in bribes from the Korean intelligence agency, companies, and individuals. Lee was president of South Korea from 2008 to 2013. His successor, Park Geun-hye, was impeached and tried for bribery and other offenses. (See our February 2018 Top Ten for more on the Park Geun-hye case.)
- Former French President Nicholas Sarkozy under Investigation. On March 20, 2018, former French President Nicholas Sarkozy was placed under formal investigation for allegedly receiving financial support from the Libyan government of Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi in 2007. Sarkozy faces charges of passive corruption, illegal campaign financing, and misappropriation of Libyan public funds. France opened an inquiry into Sarkozy’s ties to Qaddafi in 2012, after a French-Lebanese businessman said he transferred $6 million from Qaddafi’s former intelligence chief to Sarkozy’s campaign chief. Investigators are examining claims that Qaddafi secretly gave Sarkozy €50m for his 2007 campaign. On March 29, 2018, France’s highest court ordered Sarkozy to stand trial for allegedly attempting to obtain confidential information from a magistrate in an unrelated investigation into his 2007 campaign finances involving L’Oreal heiress Liliane Bettencourt. If the case goes to trial, it will be the first time an ex-French President stands for trial for “active corruption” while in office.
- Peruvian President Resigns. On March 23, 2018, Peru’s Congress accepted Pedro Pablo Kaczynski’s resignation as President of Peru, following the release of videos allegedly showing his allies offering benefits to lawmakers if they helped defeat an impeachment vote against him. The planned impeachment vote stemmed from allegations that Kuczynski had lied about his ties to Odebrecht S.A., a Brazilian construction firm that entered into a global FCPA settlement in December 2016. Two other former Peruvian presidents, Ollanta Humala and Alejandro Toledo, are also implicated in the Odebrecht matter.
By MoFo’s FCPA and Global Anti-Corruption Team
In order to provide an overview for busy in-house counsel and compliance professionals, we summarize below some of the most important international anti-corruption developments from the past month, with links to primary resources. This month we ask: Which countries came out on top—and at the bottom—in this year’s Transparency International Corruption Perceptions Index? How did the U.S. Supreme Court limit whistleblower protections? Which company resolved a foreign bribery case with German prosecutors? What are the latest developments in South Korea’s presidential corruption scandal? The answers to these questions and more are here in our February 2018 Top Ten list.
1. Transparency International Releases Annual Corruption Perceptions Index. On February 21, 2018, Transparency International (TI) released its annual Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) for 2017. The CPI, which measures the perceived levels of public sector corruption in 180 countries and territories, provides one of the major data-points used by compliance officers, outside counsel, and enforcement officials in assessing the anti-corruption risk of doing business in particular countries. New Zealand took over the top spot from Denmark as 2017’s least corrupt country. (See our discussion of last year’s CPI here.) Denmark fell to number two. Somalia came in last place, with Syria and South Sudan just above it. Notably, Brazil, which fell from being ranked 69 to 76 in 2016, fell even further in the rankings to 96, potentially due to continued revelations and findings from the ongoing investigation into alleged corruption involving national oil company Petroleo Brasiliero SA (Petrobras). As we discuss in this client alert, the Asia-Pacific region continues to reflect high variance in CPI scores, along with varied anti-corruption enforcement practices. According to TI, several countries have improved their scores since last year, including the United Kingdom, which moved up from 10 to 8 in the rankings, as well as Côte d’Ivoire and Senegal. However, two-thirds of all countries still scored below 50, the mid-point between “perceived to be highly corrupt” (0) and “perceived to be very clean” (100). TI considers scores below 50 to indicate that a country has a “serious corruption problem.”
2. Venezuela Bribery Prosecution Adds Five More Defendants, Continues Trend of Money Laundering Charges Against Foreign Officials. On February 12, 2018, the Department of Justice announced charges filed in the Southern District of Texas against five former Venezuelan government officials for their alleged participation in an international money laundering and bribery scheme involving over $27 million in bribes made to secure energy contracts from the Venezeulan national energy company, Petroleos de Venezuela S.A. (PDVSA). The PDVSA investigation has resulted in 10 guilty pleas to date. (See here for our most recent coverage.) Notably, DOJ has charged both bribe payers and bribe recipients in connection with this investigation. Although foreign officials cannot be charged with violating the FCPA, two of the most recently indicted former PDVSA officials are charged with laundering the proceeds of alleged FCPA violations. DOJ has successfully used this legal theory in the past. In 2013, Maria Gonzalez (a former official of a Venezuelan state development bank, BANDES) pled guilty in the Southern District of New York to money laundering and commercial bribery offenses, and was sentenced in January 2016. In February 2015, the Eleventh Circuit affirmed the conviction of Jean Rene Duperval, a former Haitian telecommunications official, convicted in the Southern District of Florida of laundering the proceeds of FCPA and wire fraud violations. DOJ appears to be using money laundering charges against foreign officials with greater frequency and, thus far, with sustained success at trial: In May 2017 and July 2017, respectively, two foreign officials, Mahmoud Thiam (a former Minister of Mines and Geology in the Republic of Guinea) and Heon-Cheol Chi (Director of South Korea’s Earthquake Research Center), were convicted of laundering millions of dollars in bribe payments. Many in the business community have welcomed DOJ’s focus on the demand side of foreign bribery, but the increase in money laundering prosecutions against current and former foreign officials could result in additional legal challenges, especially where the alleged “specified unlawful activity” is an FCPA violation. This latest round of charges reinforces the PDVSA prosecution as a case to watch.
3. Three Corporate FCPA Investigations Result in Declinations. In February 2018, three companies announced that DOJ and/or the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) had decided to end FCPA investigations without charges.
- California-Based Networking Products Developer Discloses DOJ Declination. In a February 9, 2018 securities filing, Juniper Networks disclosed that it had received a letter from DOJ notifying the company that the Department had closed its investigation into possible FCPA violations without taking any action against the company and acknowledging the company’s cooperation in the investigation. The company noted in the securities filing that SEC’s investigation had not yet been resolved.
- Ohio-Based Data Analytics Company Discloses DOJ and SEC Declinations. In a February 26, 2018 securities filing, Teradata Corp. disclosed that DOJ and SEC had informed the company that they had closed their investigation into FCPA allegations without pursuing enforcement actions against the company. Teradata had voluntarily disclosed to DOJ and SEC potentially improper travel, gifts, and other expenses in Turkey in February 2017.
- Texas-Based Oil and Gas Services Firm Discloses DOJ and SEC Declinations. In a February 28, 2018 securities filing, Exterran Corp. disclosed that DOJ and SEC had concluded their investigations of potential FCPA violations without taking any enforcement action. According to the company, the two-year investigation concerned accounting errors and possible irregularities involving its business in the Middle East. The company disclosed that the SEC is continuing to investigate the circumstances giving rise to the restatement.
4. Panamanian Sports Apparel Licensee Pleads Guilty in FIFA Corruption Case. On February 21, 2018, DOJ announced that Mimo International Imports and Exports, Inc. had pleaded guilty in the Eastern District of New York to charges of wire fraud conspiracy in connection with an agreement to bribe Eduardo Li, who was president of the Costa Rican soccer federation (FEDEFUT) at the time. The company admitted that, in 2014, it agreed to pay Li $500,000 to terminate a sponsorship agreement between Mimo and FEDEFUT so that Mimo would receive a multimillion-dollar rescission fee. The agreement involved meetings in the United States, and the company ultimately paid over $300,000 of the agreed amount in U.S. currency before Li was arrested in May 2015. Li pleaded guilty in October 2016 to racketeering conspiracy, wire fraud, and wire fraud conspiracy charges in connection with accepting the bribe and other conduct. The company was sentenced to pay $500,000 in restitution to FEDEFUT and a $900,000 fine.
5. Two FCPA-Related RICO Lawsuits Filed. In February 2018, two FCPA-related civil RICO suits were filed. While FCPA-related plaintiff suits are increasingly common, they more often take the form of shareholder derivative actions or securities fraud class actions.
- Investor Manager Files Second Civil Suit Against Singapore-Based Oil Rig Builder. On February 6, 2018, various funds managed by EIG Global Energy Partners (EIG) filed a RICO suit in the Southern District of New York against Singapore-based Keppel Offshore & Marine Ltd. for its role in an allegedly long-running bribery scheme involving Brazilian national oil company Petrobas. As discussed below, the alleged scheme was the subject of a global resolution in December 2017 with U.S., Singaporean, and Brazilian authorities. The lawsuit alleges that Keppel engaged in a RICO conspiracy to commit predicate acts of Travel Act violations, money laundering, and wire fraud, causing plaintiffs to lose the entirety of a $221 million investment in a Brazilian company with whom Keppel contracted to build drillships. EIG first sued Keppel and several other defendants, including Petrobas, in 2016, alleging a civil fraud conspiracy, among other claims. On March 30, 2017, the district court dismissed the civil conspiracy claim. In the new suit, EIG is seeking treble damages of at least $663 million, plus attorneys’ fees.
- Houston-Based Energy Company Files RICO Suit Against Former Venezuelan Government Officials. On February 16, 2018, Harvest Natural Resources and HNR Energia B.V. (collectively “Harvest”) filed a civil suit in the Southern District of Texas against two former presidents of Venezuela’s national oil company, PDVSA, and others allegedly involved in soliciting bribe payments. The plaintiffs allege violations of RICO and federal and state antitrust laws. The civil complaint was filed just days after DOJ announced charges against five former Venezuelan officials in connection with a bribery scheme involving PDVSA, discussed above. Harvest claims that it suffered harm when the Venezuelan government withheld approval for Harvest to sell its Venezuelan energy assets to buyers in 2013 and 2014 after the company refused four bribe demands. Harvest alleges that it was forced to sell the same assets at a loss of $470 million.
6. SCOTUS Limits Dodd-Frank Whistleblower Protections. On February 21, 2018, the Supreme Court unanimously held in Digital Realty Trust, Inc. v. Somers that Dodd-Frank’s anti-retaliation provision does not protect whistleblowers who report securities laws violations internally to their employer but not externally to SEC. The plaintiff in the case, Somers, was fired shortly after he reported an alleged securities law violation to his senior management. Somers filed suit, arguing that Dodd-Frank’s anti-retaliation provisions prohibited the company from firing him in retaliation for his report. The Court rejected Somers’s argument, reasoning that the clear language of Dodd-Frank’s anti-retaliation provision required that a person must first provide “information relating to a violation of the securities laws to the Commission,” pursuant to section 15 U.S.C. § 78u-6(a)(6). The Court also noted that the statute’s definition of whistleblower was consistent with Congress’s aim to encourage reporting to SEC. Although not an FCPA case, this holding has broad implications for internal reporting of foreign bribery and other violations. Indeed, several prior cases, including the Bio-Rad and Asadi cases, have involved internal reports of alleged FCPA violations. Internal whistleblowers remain protected under the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, but that statute provides less protection against retaliation than Dodd-Frank. Although a victory for the company, Somers could result in more whistleblower complaints being made to SEC, as employees—and whistleblower lawyers—seek to maximize the possibility that they will be protected under Dodd-Frank. Companies therefore should take steps to ensure that their whistleblower policies and procedures, including anti-retaliation policies, appropriately encourage internal self-reporting.
7. German Unit of French Aerospace Company Pays €81.25 Million Penalty for Negligent Breach of Supervisory Duties. On February 9, 2018, the Munich Prosecutor’s Office announced the resolution of its nearly six-year investigation of Airbus’s German subsidiary Airbus Defense and Space GmbH. As described in our client alert, the company was penalized in connection with an alleged agreement to sell 18 Eurofighter aircraft to Austria for roughly €2 billion in 2003 in exchange for certain offset deals Airbus was to create for Austrian companies in return. In a statement announcing the resolution, German prosecutors indicated that they had not found evidence of bribery but that they had identified roughly €100 million in payments to two UK shell companies for “unclear purposes,” made while evading internal control systems at the company. According to prosecutors, this resulted from a “negligent breach of supervisory duties.” The penalty imposed on the company consisted of an administrative fine of €250,000 and disgorgement of €81 million. The company received credit for cooperating fully with the prosecution, conducting a fulsome internal investigation, and undertaking significant remediation. Taken together, these measures gave the prosecution “reason to believe such events will not happen again.” Although it remains unclear exactly how much credit the company received for these measures, the penalty imposed was below expert predictions of a fine well above €100 million. Airbus remains under investigation in Austria for the 2003 Eurofighter deal and is also separately under investigation by UK and French authorities—the Serious Fraud Office and the French Parquet National Financier— for suspected corruption and bribery in its UK-based civil aviation arm.
8. Canadian Government Publishes Report Showing Support for DPAs. Following a comment and discussion period in the Fall of 2017, the Canadian Government published a report on February 24, 2018, regarding a possible Canadian deferred prosecution agreement (DPA) regime. The report found that the majority of participants supported a Canadian DPA regime and believed DPAs could be a useful tool for prosecutors to address corporate criminal wrongdoing. Most participants were in favor of limiting the use of DPAs to serious financial crimes and of using the United Kingdom DPA system, with clear prosecution guidelines and the mandatory publication of DPAs, as a model. Some participants did not believe DPAs were necessary and expressed concerns that DPAs could be viewed as favoring large companies over small companies and individuals. Although the comment period regarding Canada’s Integrity Regime and possible adoption of DPAs is closed, the report notes that the Government of Canada remains committed to hearing from interested parties on these issues. No policy changes have been implemented to date, but the consistency of the feedback combined with the growing interest in DPAs worldwide (see our April 2017, September 2017, and November 2017 for discussions of other countries’ interest in DPAs) may suggest that a Canadian DPA regime is near. Given the frequent use of DPAs to resolve FCPA violations in the United States, such a development would likely be significant for the future of foreign bribery prosecutions in Canada.
9. Former Executives of Singapore-based Oil Rig Builder Arrested. On February 2, 2018, it was reported that six former executives had been arrested by Singaporean authorities in connection with their investigation of Keppel Offshore & Marine Ltd. Among the executives was Tay Kim Hoc, former president and chief executive of the company’s Brazil unit, who was arrested by Singapore’s Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau (CPIB) and subsequently released on bail. The remaining five executives, whose names and roles were not disclosed, are also reportedly out on bail. In December 2017, Keppel and its U.S. subsidiary agreed to pay a $422 million combined penalty to U.S., Singaporean, and Brazilian authorities to resolve allegations that they paid over $55 million in bribes to Brazilian officials between 2001 and 2014 to win contracts with Petrobas and another Brazilian entity. As part of that resolution, a guilty plea by a former senior member of Keppel’s U.S. subsidiary was also unsealed. The Keppel arrests are not the first foreign follow-on arrests to occur in the wake of an FCPA corporate resolution. For example, between July and August 2015, Indian authorities reportedly arrested four individuals for their alleged involvement in a bribery scheme involving Louis Berger International, which had entered into a DPA with DOJ in July 2015. With more coordination between international law enforcement agencies in bribery investigations, this might become a more common occurrence.
10. Developments in South Korean Bribery Prosecutions. February 2018 saw several new developments in the bribery scandal associated with former South Korean president Park Geun-hye. On February 5, 2018, a South Korean appeals court freed Lee Jae-yong, acting chairman of Samsung, after reducing his five-year prison term to two and a half years and then suspending it. In August 2017, Lee was convicted and sentenced to five years’ imprisonment on various charges including bribery, embezzlement, and concealment of criminal proceeds, in connection with large donations to foundations run by Choi Soon-il, a close friend and advisor to the former president. The appeals court reduced the amount recognized as bribe payments by Lee to $3.3 million, characterizing Lee as a “passive” provider of bribes who was intimidated by former President Park. On February 13, 2018, Choi herself was convicted and sentenced to 20 years in prison and a $16.6 million fine for corruption, influence-peddling, and abuse of power. On the same day, the chairman of Korean conglomerate Lotte Group, Shin Dong-bin, was sentenced to two years and six months in prison for providing $6.5 million to Choi in exchange for government favors. Finally, on February 27, 2018, South Korean prosecutors requested a 30-year prison term and $110 million fine for former president Park Geun-Hye, who was impeached in December 2016 and subsequently charged and tried with bribery, coercion, abuse of power, and leaking state secrets. The court has not yet rendered its verdict in the case.