Samsung Heir Lee Jae-yong Has Been Jailed for Corruption

By Tom Pritchard on at

Yet another PR blow for Samsung, with the companies billionaire heir-apparent now being found guilty on charges of corruption and sentenced to five years in prison.

The company's de-factor leader was arrested back in February as part of an ongoing investigation into bribery and corruption in South Korea. The same investigation that led to the impeachment of former-president Park Geun-hye.

Related: Everything We Know About the Insane Scandal Rocking Samsung and South Korea

Lee, who denied all charges against him, had faced the possibility of spending 12 years behind bars, so it sounds like he got off fairly easy. Those charges included bribery, embezzlement and hiding assets overseas.

He also became implicated in the political scandal after he was accused of giving 41 billion won (£29 million) in donations to Choi Soon-sil, a friend of former President Park, in exchange for political favours. It was alleged that these favours were designed to win government support for a company restructuring and strengthen Lee's control over Samsung.

Song Wu-cheol, Lee's lawyer, said that the defence intends to appeal the decision, telling Reuters that the verdict is "unacceptable" and that the defence is confident the ruling will be overturned. Regardless of the outcome the verdict is a blow to Samsung, which is one of South Korea's largest companies, with share prices falling by one per cent. [BBC News | Reuters]

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