Choi Soon-sil, whose friendship with former South Korean President Park Geun-hye sparked a massive corruption scandal and caused Park's fall from power, has been sentenced to 20 years in jail.
Choi was sentenced on Tuesday / 2) in court in Seoul on charges of abuse of power, bribery and interference in state affairs. The court also charged a fine of nearly 17 million dollars against Choi.
The 62-year-old woman is accused of not only affecting but also controlling Park, even though she has no official post in government, and has used private relationships with the former president to co- large corporations to donate more than $ 68 million, which he subsequently stamped and channeled to the two nonprofits that he controlled.
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The court also sentenced two-and-a-half years to Shin Dong-bin, the leader of the Lotte Group, one of South Korea's main conglomerates, on bribery charges. He was accused of donating more than $ 6 million to a foundation supported by Choi in exchange for government permission to open excise and other privileged treatments.
In a third related case, Ahn Jong-beom, former senior staffer of former president Park, was sentenced six years in prison for abuse of office. [uh]