South Korea jails Choi Soon-sil, friend to Park Geun-hye, for corruption

Choi Soon-SilImage copyright

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Choi was an adviser to South Korea’s first female president

A South Korean court has sentenced Choi Soon-sil, an old friend of former president Park Geun-hye, to 20 years in jail for corruption, influence-peddling and abuse of power.

Choi was at the heart of a massive corruption scandal that brought down Ms Park, the country’s first female president.

She had acted for years as an adviser to Ms Park, who has been impeached and is also on trial.

Ms Park has denied any wrongdoing.

South Korea’s presidential scandal

The Seoul Central District Court also fined Choi 18 billion won ($16.6m; £12m).

Choi was accused of using her presidential connections to pressure conglomerates – including electronics giant Samsung – for millions of dollars in donations to two non-profit foundations she controlled.

Ms Park meanwhile has been accused of colluding with Choi. She is in custody.

The court has also found Shin Dong-bin, chairman of the conglomerate Lotte Group, guilty of offering bribes to Choi, and jailed him for two years and six months.

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