February 13, 2018 / 7:30 AM / 8 days ago

Friend of former S.Korea leader jailed for 20 years, Lotte chief arrested

SEOUL, Feb 13 (Reuters) - The friend of former South Korean leader Park Geun-hye who was at the centre of an influence-peddling scandal that rocked the country’s business and political elite has been sentenced to 20 years in jail, a Seoul court said on Tuesday.

Prosecutors had demanded a 25-year jail term for Choi Soon-sil on charges including coercion, bribery, influence-peddling and abuse of authority for using her links to the former president for personal gain.

The Seoul Central District Court also ruled on Tuesday that Lotte Group Chairman Shin Dong-bin, charged with bribery, was guilty and sentenced him to two years and six months in jail. The court ordered his immediate arrest.

Park was dismissed from the presidency last March after being impeached and is in jail. She is on trial on charges of bribery, abuse of power and coercion. She has denied any wrongdoing. (Reporting by Joyce Lee; Editing by Raju Gopalakrishnan)

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