A South Korean court on Friday (23 June) sentenced impeached president Park Geun-hye's confidante, Choi Soon-sil, to three years in prison for misusing her position to seek academic favours for her daughter.

Choi was found guilty of using her influence in admitting her daughter in Ewha Womans University in 2015. She is also accused of demanding that her 21-year-old daughter, Chung Yoo-ra, be given grades for exams she did not take, according to Yonhap news agency.

"She committed too much wrongdoing to consider the actions were out of love as a mother who wants the best for her child," said a judge during the trial at the Seoul Central District Court.

The court also sentenced two former university officials — Choi Kyung-hee, former president, and Namkung Gon, former head of admissions — to two years and one and a half years in prison, respectively, for colluding with Choi in the wrongdoings.

The 61-year-old friend of the former president was the first to be indicted in a major corruption scandal that eventually led to the ouster of Park in December 2016.

Samsung Group heir Lee Jae-yong was also involved in the influence-peddling scandal, touted as the biggest for the country, and is facing a trial.

Choi, who has been Park's friend since the late 1970s, is accused of taking bribes worth at least 7.8bn South Korean won (£5.4m, $6.85m) from Samsung.

Choi Soon-sil
Choi Soon-sil (in picture), a long-time friend of South Korean President Park Geun-hye, has been sentenced to three years in jail for using her influence and taking academic favours for her daughter - File photo Korea Pool/via REUTERS