Samsung heir Jay Y Lee found guilty of bribery after corruption scandal

Seoul court to decide fate of Samsung's de facto leader

Lee, who has been detained since February, was accused of being involved in a massive corruption scandal that led to the ousting of former South Korean President Park Geun Hye.

Lee Jae-yong, Samsung Group heir arrives at Seoul Central District Court to hear the bribery scandal verdict on August 25, 2017 in Seoul, South Korea.

And for 22 billion won in donations to foundations allegedly controlled by Choi, the court said Lee was not guilty as Samsung had no alternative but to comply with Park's browbeating.

A lawyer for Samsung heir Lee Jae-yong says the billionaire's legal team will appeal a five-year prison sentence for bribery and other crimes. He said: "We are confident the ruling will be overturned", according to Reuters.

The Guardian said the conviction has at the very least put on hold Lee's attempts to exert total control over the Samsung group, of which he has been the de facto head since his father suffered a heart attack in 2014.

Lee is South Korea's third- richest man and direct heir to the global electronics maker Samsung.

Head of Samsung faces arrest in South Korean president bribery scandal
Head of Samsung faces arrest in South Korean president bribery scandal

Former president Park was toppled previous year following an ongoing bribery scandal that raised the issue of politicians colluding with large corporations.

The South Korean court ruled that Lee had paid bribes in anticipation of favours from Park in a watershed for the country's decades-long economic order dominated by powerful, family-run conglomerates. Under South Korean law, sentences of more than three years can not be suspended.

Lee said that the donations were made without his knowledge, adding that all key decisions from the controversial merger to the donations to the Choi-controlled entities had been signed off by his mentor, former Samsung Group Vice Chairman Choi Gee-sung. Four other top Samsung executives were also convicted and received sentences of up to four years. With the court's latest ruling, however, the conglomerate should take the emergency management mode to a next level where all Samsung executives strengthen responsible management and promote strategies for survival, the official said.

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.

Jay Y. Lee, the only son of Samsung Electronics chairman Lee Kun-hee and the company's vice chairman, attends the 2015 HO-AM Prize ceremony which was established by Lee Kun-hee, in Seoul, South Korea, June 1, 2015.

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