A South Korean court on Friday sentenced Samsung Electronics Vice Chairman Lee Jae-yong, an heir apparent of Samsung Group, the country’s biggest family-run conglomerate, to five years in prison.
Lee was found guilty of five crimes, including bribery, embezzlement, concealment of criminal proceeds, illegal asset transfer to overseas and perjury.
The Seoul Central District Court acknowledged all of the five charges levied by special prosecutors, who demanded a 12-year jail term earlier this month.
Two former Samsung executives were jailed for four years and arrested inside the courtroom immediately after the verdict was handed down.
Two other former executives were sentenced to three and two-and-a-half years in suspended jail terms respectively.
The court ruled that the de-facto Samsung chief bribed impeached former President Park Geun-hye, who is now in custody and standing trial for the corruption scandal bringing her impeachment, in anticipation for favors in power transfer from his ailing father Lee Kun-hee, chairman of Samsung Electronics.
The younger Lee has controlled the country’s biggest corporate empire since his father was hospitalized for heart attack more than three years ago.
The ruling said the case was about an immoral link between political and business powers, describing the ongoing cozy ties between politicians and businessmen as “shocking.” Enditem