Samsung’s vice president and heir to the technology conglomerate, Jay Y Lee, was sentenced to two and a half years in prison in the second trial related to a corruption and bribery charge. The decision was released on Monday (18) and represents the verdict of the last instance in relation to the case. He could have received a sentence of up to nine years.
The 52-year-old executive actively participated in a corruption scandal that involved the South Korean government and resulted in the impeachment of the country’s president, Park Geun-hye. He would have made payments to a person close to the president in exchange for facilitating a merger between affiliates of the manufacturer, which is one of the largest companies.
Lee was initially arrested and tried in 2017, but served only one year out of five after a reduction in sentence. A decision by the South Korean Supreme Court in August 2019, however, reopened the case and resulted in a retrial. Another separate case will be tried in October this year: a possible manipulation of shares involving the acquisition of a local company.
He denies both accusations and must yet again appeal to the Supreme Court. For the time being, it is not known whether the time he has spent serving time will be taken into account in this sentence.
Jay Y Lee is the son of Lee Kun-hee, who was president of Samsung for decades and died at the age of 78 in October 2020 – even being considered the heir to the post since his father was away for health reasons. Since 2012, he has held the position of vice president and is considered the fourth richest person in South Korea.