Former South Korean President's friend jailed for 20 years

(VOVWORLD) - The Seoul Central District Court on Tuesday sentenced Choi Soon-sil, a close friend of former President Park Geun-hye, to 20 years in prison for a string of corruption linked to an influence-peddling scandal that led to Park's impeachment.

The court sentenced Choi on charges of bribery, abuse of power and coercion, and ordered her to pay a fine of 18 billion won (16.6 million USD). She was accused of exploiting her ties with the former President and forcing 50 business conglomerates to pay a combined 77 billion won (71 million USD) to two non-profit foundations she controlled. She allegedly meddled in various state affairs and gained access to confidential government files even though she held no official position or authority in the Park government.

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