A South Korean court on Tuesday sentenced Choi Soon-sil, a close friend of former President Park Geun-hye, to 20 years in jail on corruption charges and for abuse of power, South Korean news agency Yonhap reported.
Choi was the prime accused in the massive corruption scandal that brought down Park, the country’s first woman president.
Park was accused of colluding with Choi to extort money from South Korean companies in the form of donations. The money was then transferred to non-profit foundations controlled by Choi and allegedly used for personal gains.
Park has been on trial after she was formally removed from office on March 10, 2017, and jailed. Choi’s sentence could indicate the penalty Park could face if she is convicted, AP reported. State prosecutors had demanded a 25-year prison sentence for Choi.
On Tuesday, the Seoul Central District Court convicted Choi of bribery, abuse of power and coercion, Yonhap reported. Choi was accused of also exploiting her ties with the former president, meddling in state affairs and accessing confidential government files. Choi continues to deny any wrongdoing.