South Korean court sentences Samsung Electronics vice chairman Lee Jae-yong for 2.5 years in prison due to corruption

By | January 18, 2021
South Korean court sentences Samsung Electronics vice chairman Lee Jae-yong for 2.5 years in prison due to corruption

South Korean court docket sentences Samsung Electronics vice chairman Lee Jae-yong for two.5 years in jail as a consequence of corruption

In a much-anticipated retrial, the Seoul Excessive Court docket discovered Lee responsible of bribing then-President Park Geun-hye and her shut confidante to win authorities help for a merger between two Samsung associates

South Korean court sentences Samsung Electronics vice chairman Lee Jae-yong for 2.5 years in prison due to corruption

Samsung Electronics Vice Chairman Lee Jae-yong is questioned by reporters upon his arrival on the Seoul Excessive Court docket in Seoul, South Korea, Monday, Jan. 18, 2021. AP

Seoul: Billionaire Samsung scion Lee Jae-yong was despatched again to jail on Monday after a South Korean court docket handed him a two and a half-year sentence for his involvement in a 2016 corruption scandal that spurred huge protests and ousted South Korea’s then-president.

In a much-anticipated retrial, the Seoul Excessive Court docket discovered Lee responsible of bribing then-President Park Geun-hye and her shut confidante to win authorities help for a 2015 merger between two Samsung associates. The deal helped strengthen his management over the nation’s largest enterprise group.

Lee’s legal professionals had portrayed him as a sufferer of presidential energy abuse and described the 2015 deal as a part of “regular enterprise exercise.”

Sporting a masks and black swimsuit and tie, Lee was taken into custody following the ruling. He didn’t reply questions by reporters upon his arrival on the court docket.

Injae Lee, an legal professional who leads Lee Jae-yong’s defence crew, expressed remorse over the court docket’s resolution, saying that the “essence of the case is {that a} former president abused energy to infringe upon the liberty and property rights of a non-public firm.”

He didn’t particularly say whether or not there could be an attraction. Samsung didn’t difficulty a press release over the ruling.

Lee Jae-yong helms the Samsung group in his capability as vice-chairman of Samsung Electronics, one of many world’s largest makers of pc chips and smartphones.

In September final yr, prosecutors individually indicted Lee on fees of inventory value manipulation, breach of belief and auditing violations associated to the 2015 merger.

It isn’t instantly clear what his jail time period would imply for Samsung. Samsung didn’t present many indicators of bother through the earlier time Lee spent in jail in 2017 and 2018, and jail phrases have by no means actually stopped South Korean company leaders from relaying their administration selections from behind bars.

Samsung is coming off a strong enterprise yr, with its twin energy in elements and completed merchandise enabling it to profit from the coronavirus pandemic and the extended commerce struggle between the US and China.

Samsung’s semiconductor enterprise rebounded sharply after a sluggish 2019, pushed by strong demand for PCs and servers as virus outbreaks compelled hundreds of thousands of individuals to remain and work from home.

The Trump administration’s sanctions towards China’s Huawei Applied sciences have in the meantime hindered one in every of Samsung’s largest rivals in smartphones, smartphone chips and telecommunications tools.

Samsung Electronics mentioned earlier this month that its working revenue for the final quarter probably rose by 26% from the identical interval a yr earlier to 9 trillion gained ($8.1 billion). The corporate will launch its finalized earnings later this month.

Lee, 52, was initially sentenced in 2017 to 5 years in jail for providing 8.6 billion gained ($7 million) in bribes to Park and her longtime buddy Choi Quickly-sil. However he was freed after 11 months in February 2018 after the Seoul Excessive Court docket lowered his time period to 2½ years and suspended his sentence, overturning key convictions and lowering the variety of his bribes.

The Supreme Court docket final week confirmed a 20-year jail sentence for Park, who was convicted of colluding with Choi to take hundreds of thousands of {dollars} in bribes and extortion cash from a few of the nation’s largest enterprise teams, together with Samsung, whereas she was in workplace from 2013 to 2016.

The ruling meant that Park, who additionally has a separate conviction for illegally meddling in her occasion’s candidate nominations forward of 2016 parliamentary elections, might doubtlessly serve 22 years behind bars till 2039 when she could be 87.

Choi is serving an 18-year jail sentence.

In a information convention Monday, South Korean President Moon Jae-in mentioned he has no instant plans to grant presidential pardons to Park and one other imprisoned former president, Lee Myung-bak, who’s serving a 17-year time period for corruption.

Conservative politicians and a few members of Moon’s liberal occasion have endorsed the thought of pardoning the previous presidents for the sake of “nationwide unity” because the nation’s deeply cut up voters approaches presidential elections in March 2022.

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