Samsung heir given five years in prison for bribery

26 August, 2017, 01:30 | Author: Chad Mckenzie
  • Lee Jae-yong vice chairman of Samsung Electronics arrives for his trial at a courthouse in Seoul earlier this month

The prosecution is asking for a 12-year prison sentence for Lee's alleged role in the so-called "Rasputin" corruption case, which led to the impeachment and imprisonment of former South Korean President Park Geun-hye, Efe news reported. After months of legal battles and courtroom drama, Samsung Vice Chairman and grandson of Samsung founder, Jay Y. Lee has been jailed for a term of five years as the allegations against him were proved.

Other than Lee, four other Samsung executives were accused of being involved in bribing Park and Choi Soon-sil, her confidant and close friend.

Lee was also found guilty of concealing criminal profits and hiding assets overseas; his lawyers said Friday that they reject the verdict and will appeal immediately.

Song Wu-cheol, one of Lee's defence lawyers, described the verdict as "unacceptable" and said that the lower court ruling would be appealed.

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"The essence of the case is collusive ties between political power and capital power", presiding Judge Kim Jin-dong of the Seoul Central District Court said.

But in the past, they've either been given suspended sentences or have been pardoned by the president.

Lee, who is vice-chairman and de facto head of the technology giant, was convicted of a number of offences, including bribery, embezzlement, and perjury in a significant case for the country.

A court in South Korea sentenced the heir apparent to the Samsung empire on Friday in a scandal that has gripped the country for many months. "As Samsung executives, they had a great deal of negative impact on society and the economy".

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Some investors had anxious that a jail term could leave a leadership vacuum at Samsung, which has over five dozen affiliate companies and assets of 363.2 trillion won ($322.33 billion), and whose listed companies make up around 30 percent of the market value of the KOSPI index.

Samsung heir's fate had been in troubling waters even since Park was taken down as the President earlier this year.

It's not the first time the family has been found guilty of corruption: Lee's father, Lee Kun-hee, was twice convicted of tax evasion and bribery. She and Choi are both now on trial.

Shares of Samsung Electronics closed down 1.05 percent, following the news.

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A verdict in the trial of the former president, who faces a possible life sentence, is expected in October. The country has apparently been riddled with series of such corruptions and scandals fueled by senior politicians and family-run conglomerates called chaebol.

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