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Samsung heritage Lee sentenced to five years imprisonment for corruption

Friday, August 25th, 2017 | World News

The legacy of the South Korean Samsung empire, Lee Jae Yong, has been sentenced to five years' imprisonment. The central district court in Seoul, the 49-year-old vice president of Samsung Electronics on Friday among other things guilty because of bribery, embezzlement of corporate assets and perjury.

The lawsuit against Lee is linked to the corruption officer by South Korea's former president, Park Geun Hye.

Kickbacks in millions
The prosecutor's office had pleaded for a twelve-year prison sentence. Lee is said to have offered ex-President Park and their confidant Choi Soon Sil bribes in millions. According to estimates from the judiciary, he is supposed to have paid a total of 8.9 billion won (nearly 6.7 million euros) to secure the support of the policy, When a generational change took place at the corporate headquarters.

Lee Jae Yong is the only son of Samsung's chief Lee Kun Hee. Since his heart attack in 2014, Lee Jae Yong has been leading the most important leadership tasks in the company. Samsung Electronics, among other things the largest smartphone manufacturer in the world, is responsible for one-fifth of the South Korean economic output.

Trailer of Lee burst into tears
The court said Lee had "offered bribes" in response to permanent demands from the President. The entrepreneur, on the other hand, was released with a view to a further 22 million won, which were paid to the foundations of the president-confidants Choi.

 The judges said that Samsung had no choice but to confront the continuing pressure of the President when it came to their approval for a controversial merger.

Lee dismissed the allegations. His defenders declared that he had not been informed of the payments and had not approved them. They announced to appeal against the verdict. Lee's followers broke into tears before the court building.

Other Samsung managers condemned
Two other Samsung executives were sentenced on Friday to prison sentences of up to four years, two were released on parole.

The president confidant Choi had been sentenced to three years in prison in a first trial. The ex-President, Park, who has been appointed by Parliament, is also being prosecuted. She is accused of having pressured well-known South Korean companies to pay large sums of Choi foundations. The trial against Park and other defendants is likely to take several months.

"Obstacles to economic growth"
The new president of the country, the left-wing former human rights prosecutor Moon Jae In, had promised in the election campaign to reform the family-run large-scale conglomerate of the country – the so-called Chaebol. The corporations were always involved in corruption scandals. The four largest conglomerates – Samsung, Hyundai, SK and LG – are "obstacles to economic growth," the new president said.

Hitherto harsh judgment against Chaebol boss
A number of politicians had already announced a sharper action against Chaebol – so far without success. Observers now grant the plan better chances after millions of South Koreans had demonstrated against Park and many also against Chaebol.

According to analyst Chung Sun Sup, the prison sentence for Lee is the most severe verdict against a Chaebol chief. In the light of the five charges, "five years were the minimum of what they could do".

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