June 12, 2020 12:47
The Supreme Court on Thursday upheld an 18-year prison sentence for ex-President Park Geun-hye's toxic confidante Choi Soon-sil at her final appeal.
Her sentence was reduced from 20 years to 18 years in a retrial by the high court in February.
Choi has already been sentenced to three years for illegally obtaining admission for her daughter at Ewha Womans University and will now serve a total of 21 years behind bars.
The Supreme Court also upheld a W26.3 billion fine (US$1=W1,196).
In August last year, the Supreme Court sent the corruption case, which also involved Samsung chief Lee Jae-yong, back to the high court, saying that the bribery charge should have been tried separately from other charges.
Lower courts had arrived at different figures in each case and sentenced the three accordingly, but the Supreme Court ruled at the time that all the money the conglomerate gave Choi constituted bribes as it was paid on the understanding that Park would do favors to Samsung, which paradoxically reduced Choi's sentence because some extortion charges were lifted.
The Supreme Public Prosecutors' Office welcomed the ruling. "The Supreme Court’s ruling ultimately confirms major illegalities including bribery related to the succession of corporate management control [at Samsung], which was at the crux of the crime of meddling in state affairs," it said in a statement.
Prosecutors are still hounding Samsung chief Lee Jae-yong over accounting fraud and stock manipulation in the massive fiddle that ensured his succession at the conglomerate.
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