Prosecutors on Wednesday sought a one-year-and-six-month prison term for Jang Si-ho (38), the niece of ex-President Park Geun-hye's confidante Choi Soon-sil.
Jang is charged with extorting W1.6 billion from Samsung for a dodgy youth sports foundation that her aunt set up and Jang ran (US$1=W1,116).
Prosecutors said Jang deserves "stern punishment" since her role in the massive influence-peddling and corruption scandal that brought down Park is proven. But they noted that Jang actively cooperated with investigators "in contrast with other defendants who were merely intent on dodging responsibility."
Jang offered detailed information on the relationship between Park and Choi. Jang admits the charges and told investigators what she knew about the extortion racket Park and Choi allegedly ran out of Cheong Wa Dae.
She handed over two tablet PCs with crucial evidence linking Choi and Park directly to the scandal and tipped off investigators that her aunt and the ex-president communicated via cell phones registered in other people's names.
Earlier, prosecutors sought a five-year prison term for Choi's drinking buddy, commercial director Cha Eun-taek, and two-and-a-half-year prison terms for former Cheong Wa Dae secretary Jeong Ho-seong, who is charged with passing state secrets to Choi.
Prosecutors sought a three-and-a-half-year prison term for former vice culture minister Kim Chong, another of Choi's cronies who was indicted for abuse of power, embezzlement and other charges.
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