Choi Soon-sil appeals 20-year prison term in South Korea case

Feb. 14 (UPI) — A confidante of former South Korean President Park Geun-hye is appealing a 20-year prison sentence, and other defendants linked to the corruption case are also appealing their sentences.

Choi Soon-sil, the defendant at the center of a complicated presidential scandal that brought down Park and ushered in a new political era under current President Moon Jae-in, is appealing the sentence because, according to Choi’s attorney, the verdict belies a “misunderstanding” regarding her crimes and a misinterpretation of the law, CBS No Cut News reported Wednesday.

News 1 reported Choi argued the sentence was “unfair.”

Former Blue House Senior Secretary to the President for Policy Coordination Ahn Jong-beom is also appealing a 6-year sentence. The defendant denies receiving bribes or forcing those who were aware of illegal activities to make false statements.

On the same day Choi and Ahn appealed their verdicts, the chairman of conglomerate Lotte Group, Shin Dong-bin, submitted an appeal to a Seoul court after receiving a two-year, six-month sentence for offering more than $6 million in bribes.

Shin was found guilty of offering the bribe to Choi, but the South Korean business executive is appealing the verdict.

The defendants are appealing the case a day after receiving their sentences from Seoul Central District Court, News 1 reported.

On Tuesday the court also fined Choi more than $16 million and ordered her to pay nearly $7 million in penalties.