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15:17, 13 February 2018

Friend of former South Korea leader jailed for 20 years

AKIPRESS.COM - A friend of the former South Korean president Park Geun-hye, who was at the centre of an influence-peddling scandal that rocked the country’s business and political elite, has been sentenced to 20 years in jail, The Guardian reported.

Choi Soon-sil was found guilty of abuse of power, bribery and meddling in state affairs by the Seoul central district court, and the judge, Kim Se-yoon, said: “The accused is sentenced to 20 years in prison.”

Choi took advantage of “long private ties” with Park to force companies to donate funds to foundations she controlled, the judge said.

She accepted a total of 14bn won (£9.4m) from the telecommunications company Samsung and the retail conglomerate Lotte, he said, and “meddled in state affairs widely”.

“The guilt of the accused is heavy,” he said, adding that she had shown no repentance.

The chairman of the Lotte group, South Korea’s fifth-biggest conglomerate, was sentenced to two and a half years in prison, and the former Park aide Ahn Jong-beom was jailed for six years.


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