Samsung heir, J Y Lee (Lee Jae-yong) who was arrested earlier this year, has now been convicted on charges of corruption. The de-facto head and Samsung Electronics Vice Chairman has been handed five years of jail time for bribery, embezzlement and hiding assets overseas.
Although Lee’s lawyers have confirmed that they’ll appeal Seoul court’s decision, the ruling is seen as an important one as this is the first time, a business leader in South Korea has been convicted for five years. Also, the decision could have an impact on ex-president GH Park’s trial who was thrown out of office for the same charges.
Park has been accused of supporting approval for the merger of two Samsung affiliates for a tighter control on Samsung.
Meanwhile, another Samsung executive — who was also Lee’s mentor — has been convicted of his role in the same corruption scandal and will face four years in jail.
The arrest also puts Samsung in a precarious position with no captain at the helm and its previous head, KH Lee is in a comatose state after a heart attack in 2014.