A court in Seoul has found former South Korean President Park Geun-hye guilty on a raft of charges in the sprawling corruption case that led to her impeachment.
The ex-president was also fined 18 billion won (US$16.8 million) - which was just a tenth of the amount requested by the prosecution.
Announcing the verdict on Friday, Judge Kim Se Yoon, ruled that major conglomerates including Samsung and Lotte had been forced to donate a total of £68million to Ms Choi's non-profit foundations. The court proceeding had been broadcast live on television for the first time since a law allowing broadcasts was passed previous year. Their relationship had been the subject of intense public scrutiny amid allegations that Choi had undue influence over a nation's affairs through her connection with Park.
Park, 66, was convicted of receiving or demanding more than $20 million from conglomerates, sharing secret state documents with Choi, ordering officials to stop offering state subsidies to "blacklisted" artists critical of her policies, and firing officials who resisted her abuses of power.
But South Koreans are divided on the verdict.
Park who was impeached by South Korea's parliament on 9 December 2016 is now under arrest at the Seoul detention center.
She was also charged for soliciting bribes from the head of the Samsung Group for government favours.
"It is President Moon Jae-in who should be scared of consequences of today", said Jeon Hee-kyeong, spokesperson of the LKP.
A lawyer of ex-South Korean President Park Geun-hye has called her sentence of 24 years in prison over corruption "very bad" and hinted that she would appeal. In the 1990s, former dictator Chun Doo-hwan was sentenced to death, and his successor, Roh Tae-woo, received a 22 1/2-year term after the pair were found guilty of creating slush funds and inciting a coup.
Park's sentencing has drawn a line under what has been one of the biggest corruption scandals to rock South Korea in recent years.
Park is the latest former leader of South Korea to run afoul of the law.
A South Korean court is set to issue a verdict against disgraced former President Park Geun-hye over a corruption scandal. She was formally removed from office by the Constitutional Court on March 10, 2017. "Park has denied all charges against her and expressed no remorse or atonement - legally as well as politically - for what's probably the most shocking political scandal in our modern history", Jeong told AFP.
"It's against fairness and justice if Park is to be released only serving her jail terms for two years while the people who colluded with still in prison", said Park of Minbyun.
She was arrested shortly afterwards, and has been in detention ever since.