Widely known as the “South Korean Rasputin”, Choi Soon-sil has been convicted for her involvement in a massive corruption scandal.
Body count of scandal:
- Choi Soon-sil – jailed for three years
- Former president of prestigious Ewha Women’s University Choi Kyung-hee – jailed for two years
- Asian Games equestrian gold medallist Chung Yoo-ra – denied entry to university for cheating through high school
- Former South Korean president Park Geun-hye – thrown out of office, held in detention
- Samsung Group chief Jay Y Lee – held in detention
Choi Soon-sil, ousted South Korean leader Park Geun-hye’s long-time confidante, has been sentenced to three years in jail, Yonhap News Agency reported on Friday, according to Reuters.
Choi was at the centre of an influence-peddling scandal that rocked the country’s political and business elite and ended Park’s administration.
Prosecutors, who had demanded a seven-year jail term, accused Choi of facilitating her daughter’s admission to the prestigious Ewha Women’s University. They said she conspired with their faculty to have her daughter’s academic records altered despite poor class attendance and plagiarised reports.
The court ruled that Choi violated laws and proper procedures to benefit her daughter.
The president of the university, Choi Kyung-hee, was sentenced to two years in prison.
Choi also faces separate charges, which have yet to be heard, of abuse of power and attempted fraud to extort bribes from business conglomerates. She and Park have denied all charges against them.
Choi’s 20-year-old daughter, Chung Yoo-ra, returned to South Korea earlier this month after fleeing to Europe last year.
The Asian Games equestrian gold medallist had her entrance to the university and her high school diploma cancelled after authorities found her high school attendance and test grades had been forged.
Prosecutors had twice unsuccessfully sought an arrest warrant for Chung over the corruption scandal, alleging that Samsung Electronics had given her financial help to support her equestrian training.
Chung had denied any involvement and knowledge of how Samsung’s sponsorship had influenced her equestrian career.
However, she later acknowledged during questioning that she was aware of Samsung being her patron and that her mother had asked her to keep it secret.
Samsung Group chief Jay Y Lee has also been detained, refuting all charges against him.