SEOUL, June 23: A South Korean court on Friday sentenced Choi Soon-sil, a confidant of ousted President Park Geun-hye, to three years in prison for demanding academic favours for her daughter, the first ruling related to a massive corruption scandal. The Seoul Central District Court found Choi guilty of obstruction of duty by exerting influence on Ewha Womans University to give undue favours to her 21-year-old daughter Chung Yoo-ra, using her ties with the former president, reports Yonhap News Agency.
The court also sentenced Choi Kyung-hee, former president of the university, and mkung Gon, the university’s former head of admissions, who were both found to have complied with Choi’s requests. Choi has pleaded not guilty. The 61-year-old was also accused of demanding professors give her daughter grades for papers Chung never submitted or exams that she never took.
The court ruling is the first made for one of the many charges Choi faces in connection with the influence-peddling scandal. Her charges include taking bribes worth at least 7.8 billion won ($6 million) from Samsung. Park and Samsung Group heir Lee Jae-yong are also detained and facing trial. The scandal, which broke in September last year, triggered weeks of protest rallies calling for Park’s impeachment. She was removed from office on March 10. (IANS)