Samsung heir Lee Jae-Yong convicted in corruption case

  • Court awards five years imprisonment to Lee on multiple charges, including bribery, misappropriation and perjury

SEOUL – The Seoul Central District Court on Friday awarded five years imprisonment to Samsung successor Lee Jae-Yong for bribery, perjury and other crimes, international media reported.

Lee, 49, the vice-chairman of Samsung Electronics, has been convicted following a corruption scandal that caused ouster of former president Park Geun-Hye.

The conviction of Lee Jae-Yong, son of  Samsung group chairman Lee Kun-Hee, could leave the giant firm, which is the world’s largest smartphone producer, unable to take decisions regarding key investments.

After the scandal was unearthed, he was facing multiple charges, including bribery, misappropriation and perjury, centred on payments and promises by Samsung totalling 43.3 billion to ousted president’s aide Choi Soon-Sil.

Following the charges, prosecutors had asked the court to announce a 12-year sentence for Lee Jae-Yong.

The court also found that the bribe was made by Lee seeking government support for his hereditary succession at the Samsung, after his father fallen ill due to heart attack in 2014.

Council for Lee argued that his client was unaware of such activities, adding that Park exerted duress pressure for making donations.

Around 800 riot police were deployed around the Seoul Central District Court to prevent possible clashes between rivals, the Yonhap news agency reported.

The court also turned down permission to broadcast the verdict live, as the judgement of Constitutional Court on Park’s impeachment was broadcasted in March.