Ousted South Korean president’s confidante sentenced

The confidante of South Korea’s ousted president has been sentenced to three years jail for her role in a corruption scandal that brought down the country’s leader and roiled its political and business elite.

Seoul Central District Court found Choi Soon-sil guilty of obstruction of duty by using her ties with impeached South Korean President Park Geun-hye to solicit academic favors for her daughter from Ewha Womans University, a court press officer told CNN Friday.

Choi, who has been described as a Rasputin-like character to the ousted leader, is also on trial for abuse of power and fraud. Park went on trial for corruption last month in a case that has gripped the country.

Choi’s daughter Chung Yoo-ra, 21, was extradited from Denmark in January after spending months in hiding after the scandal broke.

It had been alleged that Chung, an equestrian who won gold in the group dressage event at the 2014 Asian Games, had received special treatment to secure admission to the university.

The court also sentenced the former president of the university to two years in prison and the university’s former admissions head to 18 months in prison for complying with Choi’s demands, the press officer said.

President ousted

Revelations that Park shared classified government information with Choi, a civilian and long-term personal confidante, led to the corruption scandal that resulted in Park’s impeachment and removal as South Korean president in March.

The Constitutional Court that upheld Park’s impeachment agreed with accusations that Park had been unduly influenced by Choi and abused her authority in helping Choi raise donations from companies for foundations she had set up.

Also indicted in the trial is Lotte chairman Shin Dong-bin, a billionaire businessmen who was allegedly involved in bribery.