Samsung Heir Jailed, Found Guilty of Bribing Former President


However, the court found that he had offered $38 million to four foundations operated by Choi Soon-sil, a friend of the president, which curried him enough favour to illegally access classified government documents.

The 49-year-old was also found guilty of hiding assets overseas, embezzlement and perjury, as Reuters reported.

Prosecutors had been seeking a 12-year prison sentence for Lee, who denied any wrongdoing.

"Samsung executives were steadily preparing for Lee's succession and paid large bribes to the president, who had the ultimate authority over Korea's economic policy, with an anticipation of her help for the management control succession scheme", Kim said.

In his defence, Lee's lawyers said Samsung was compelled by Park to support the national equestrian team, which happened to include Choi's daughter, and to make the donations to support the country's cultural and sports development.

THE HEIR APPARENT to the not-inconsiderable Samsung fortune has been jailed for five years on bribery charges.

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The revelations that led to Lee's arrest in February fed public outrage which contributed to Park's removal as president.

The third-generation de facto head of the Samsung Group, Lee, has directed operations since his father, Lee Kun-hee, was incapacitated by a heart attack in 2014.

Lee's attorneys immediately said they would appeal, and experts said it would likely go all the way to the country's supreme court. According to the law in the country, prison sentences lasting longer than three years can not be suspended. Nearly 60 companies affiliated with Samsung account for a third of South Korea's stock market capitalization.

South Korean ousted leader Park Geun-hye arrives at a court in Seoul on August 25, 2017. Apart from Lee, four other Samsung executives have been prosecuted for up to four years of imprisonment. Two other former executives received suspended prison terms.

The convictions are the second major hit to Samsung's reputation after the disaster of the exploding Galaxy Note 7. Shares of Samsung Electronics, where Lee is the vice chairman, finished down 1.05 percent at 2,351,000 won.