Choi Soon-sil Sentenced to 20 Years in Jail

Choi Soon-sil leaves the Seoul Central District Court in Seoul in Seoul on Tuesday.

The Seoul Central District Court on Tuesday sentenced ex-President Park Geun-hye's confidante Choi Soon-sil to 20 years in prison and fined her W18 billion for a string of crimes (US$1=W1,086).

Choi was found guilty of abusing her influence on the ex-president and colluding with Park to extort billions from conglomerates including Samsung and Lotte for private profit.

Lotte Group chairman Shin Dong-bin was also jailed for two-and-a-half years for bribing Park and Choi.

The court ruled that there had been a tacit request from Shin to win duty-free licenses from Park in exchange for W7 billion Lotte paid into Choi's bogus K-Sports Foundation.

Park, who became the first Korean president to be impeached over the scandal, is still on trial.