Samsung’s well-known heir Lee Jae-yong was sentenced to 2.5 years in prison on Monday. The legal battle began in 2020 and ended only after the Seoul Court of Appeals upheld the first instance sentence.
According to the judge in the case, Lee bribed an associate of former Samsung President Park Geun-hye to allow the companies Cheil Industries and Samsung C&T to merge.
As a result of the “maneuver”, Lee gained full control of Samsung and succeeded his father in charge of the company. During the hearing, the court also pointed out that the sentence does not take into account the company’s internal processes:
It is difficult to say that Samsung’s compliance committee has reached its effectiveness, but it is not appropriate to reflect on this in the sentence.
Lee was arrested in 2018 and spent more than a year in prison. However, after appealing to Korean Supreme Court justices, the executive obtained freedom, as the court overturned the previous sentence.
Now, Samsung promises to turn to the Supreme Court again for a new annulment. However, as the penalty was much more “bland” than required by the prosecution, Lee is unlikely to achieve a victory.
Prosecutors even demanded nine years in prison, but the sentence was reduced to 2.5 years. The prosecution believes that Samsung needs to be an example in the fight against corruption to allow a “solid development of our society”.
Remember that Lee apologized last year and announced the end of family management at the company. Thus, the executive promises not to pass on Samsung to his children.