Samsung leader Jay Y. Lee given 5-year jail sentence for bribery

Polaris  Newscom

The court said Lee had provided bribes anticipating support from Park, who was still president at the time, The Guardian quoted South Korea's Yonhap news agency.

Lawyers for the heir to the Samsung empire, Jay Y Lee, have filed an appeal against his five-year prison sentence, after he was convicted of charges including bribery, embezzlement and perjury. Instead, at the end of past year Lee was implicated in a massive political scandal that culminated in President Park Geun-hye's ouster. A panel of three judges revealed the decision and the investigation also found that Lee managed to hide overseas assets and other activities. Other former top executives who advised Lee were also sent to prison or given suspended terms. Lee has been accused of offering bribes of 38 million Dollars for various departments after the death of his father.

Lee's lawyers are expected to appeal soon, where the decision is likely to be taken by the country's Supreme Court, possibly next year.

In 2015, USA hedge fund Elliot Management filed for an injunction against the merger of two Samsung units created to cement a power transfer to the heir apparent of Samsung Group from his ailing father Lee Kun-hee, who has been bedridden since May 2014 due to a heart attack. The court's finding was that "the president's level of involvement in using the foundations in the pursuit of personal gain was active and significantly high".

The scandal involving Park and Choi broke in October 2016.

Lee joined the Samsung Electronics board in October 2016 around the time of the launch of the company's Galaxy Note 7 smartphone model that continually caught fire and resulted in a subsequent termination of the model. Lee's attorney Song Woo-chul said, "I can not accept the ruling either from a legal standpoint or in consideration of the facts and will appeal immediately". Lee's succession over Samsung. "We management are also distressed", he wrote in an internal message, seen by Reuters, to Samsung Electronics staff on Monday.

Thus far, Samsung's revenue equal about one fifth of the country's GDP, and some sources fear the imprisonment of a notable commercial figure may cause ripple effects through the country.

The dual moves on Monday appeared meant to send a message of steadiness and continuity as Samsung, one of the world's biggest technology companies, navigates a precarious period. Among those 10 giants, the leaders of six have been convicted of white-collar crimes, with many being pardoned or having had their sentences commuted.

Kim said that as the group's heir apparent, Lee "stood to benefit the most" from any political favours for Samsung. "The leadership vacuum may not have short-term effect, but in the long-term, it is a serious problem".

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