Prosecutors expected to demand heavy punishment for Park's confidante

By Yonhap
  • Published : Dec 14, 2017 - 10:03
  • Updated : Dec 14, 2017 - 10:03

The prosecution was set Thursday to demand a sentence for a woman at the center of a massive influence-peddling scandal that led to the ousting of President Park Geun-hye early this year.

Independent Counsel Park Young-soo and state prosecutors are expected to request a heavy punishment for Choi Soon-sil, a longtime friend and confidante of the disgraced leader, during a hearing slated for 10 a.m. 

Choi Soon-sil (Yonhap)

Prosecutors will also demand sentences for Lotte Group Chairman Shin Dong-bin and An Chong-bum, who was then a senior presidential aide to Park for policy coordination, in connection with the scandal.

Choi, 61, was arrested in November last year and indicted on 18 charges, including abuse of power, coercion and bribery.

If Choi is convicted of all charges, she could face a life sentence. She has already received a three-year jail term for a separate corruption case regarding her daughter's university admission.

The charges against her center on the alleged collusion with the former president to extort money from Samsung and other conglomerates and interfere in state affairs. She stands accused of pressuring 50 conglomerates to donate 77.4 billion won ($70.8 million) to two foundations allegedly controlled by her. 

Samsung Group scion Lee Jae-yong was sentenced to three years in jail for giving or promising a total of 43.3 billion won to Park and Choi. He has appealed the ruling.

The court's decision will likely affect the ruling in Park's case. She was dismissed as president by the Constitutional Court on March 10. (Yonhap)