>> A day of reckoning for the woman at the center of the scandal that has rocked South Korea in politics to its core. Choi Soon-sil, the close friend and confidant of disgraced former President Park Geun-hye. Sentenced to three years in prison on Friday, the first in a string of punishments she's expected to receive.
This particular case, related to abuse of power to get her daughter into a South Korean university. But as Reuters Christine Kim reports, it only scratches the surface of Choi's criminal charges.>> This is just a prelude for Choi Soon-sil as her bigger trials, including the one with ex-president Park Geun-hye are still ongoing.
She faces separate charges, which have yet to be heard of extortion, abusive of power. And attempted fraud to store bribes from business conglomerates, although, she has denied all charges against her. Once the court lays down the rulings for all of the cases that Choi faces, she could face more than 20 years in jail.
Prosecutors will make their next punishment demand sometime in July and we expect to know the total amount of jail time Choi will face probably sometime in October.>> Three years is less than prosecutors had hoped for. But given what the court had to say about Choi on Friday, her future punishments could be even more severe.
>> The court said today that Choi'd so much wrong for a mother who wished the best for her child. Pretty much describing her as someone who would go to extreme lengths to achieve what she wants. And observers say this will likely weigh on her other trials. And that it may influence the ruling on some of the more heavier charges she faces, like attempted fraud to extort bribes from business conglomerates like Samsung.
>> Also in the courtroom on Friday, the ousted president, Park, who alongside Choi, is accused of taking millions of dollars in bribes from major South Korean companies. Park is currently being held in a detention center, as is the head of Samsung group Jay Y Lee. Like Choi, they both face lengthy prison sentences.