Samsung heir convicted, sentenced to 5 years on corruption charges

Samsung heir convicted, sentenced to 5 years on corruption charges

Samsung heir convicted, sentenced to 5 years on corruption charges

The heir to the Samsung empire has been sentenced to five years in jail after a South Korean court found Lee Jae-yong guilty of corruption.

Lee Jae-yong, the acting chairman of Samsung has been sentenced to five years in prison for corruption.

Lee is being accused of making large donations worth $36m to foundations run by a close friend and confidante of the deposed South Korean president, Park Geun-hye, in return for political favours.

Lee denied wrongdoing, and his lawyers say the 2015 merger was done on business merits. He was also convicted of embezzlement, lying to parliament under oath, and of hiding assets overseas.

Reuters reported that Lee will definitely appeal the decision, and one of Lee's lawyers stated that they are quite confident that the decision will be in favor of the Samsung heir.

The vice-chairman of Samsung Electronics, 49, arrived at Seoul Central District Court on a justice ministry bus handcuffed and bound with white rope around his dark jacket.

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

Driven by their belief of Park's innocence over a scandal that brought her down, many protesters, mostly older women and men, turned out for Lee, whose conviction, they believe, would nearly certainly mean a guilty verdict for Park in her trial.

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The new president, Moon Jae-in, has already said there will be no more presidential pardons.

Many in Korea are symbolizing this verdict as a historic judgment.

The trial began in April and Lee was under physical detention throughout.

In the meantime, Lee's guilty verdict does leave Samsung in a precarious position. Samsung's empire is responsible for about 20 percent of South Korea's gross domestic product. The elder Lee has taken a step back from the company since suffering a heart attack in 2014, with his son expected to take control.

Samsung Electronics posted a record profit of 11tn won for the latest quarter and the firm has released its new flagship Galaxy S8 smartphone, closing the book on the disastrous recall of the exploding Galaxy Note 7.

But over the years, it has also come to epitomize the cosy ties between politicians and powerful family-controlled business groups - or chaebols - which have been implicated in a series of corruption scandals.

Judge Kim said the accused were representative executives of the giant business group and they made a serious impact on society and the economy.

The chaebol includes a shipbuilding division, a construction company, and pharmaceuticals and advertising arms.

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