Samsung heir walks free after court suspends jail term

Samsung heir walks free after court suspends jail term

On Monday, Seoul High Court slashed Lee's sentence to two and a half years and also suspended it.

At his primary trial in August 2017, Lee was sentenced to five years in jail for giving bribes as part of the wide-ranging corruption scandal involving ex-President Park Geun-hye and her confidante, Choi Soon-sil.

His sentencing confirmed what had always been suspected: links between the nation's most successful and renowned company and the country's government.

The 49-year-old was also found guilty of embezzlement, hiding assets overseas, concealing profit from criminal acts and perjury.

In 2016, Lee was convicted of bribing disgraced President Park Geun-hye for support of a merger that would strengthen his control of Samsung Electronics. His lawyers say he plans to appeal to the Supreme Court against these charges.

Samsung executives said that Lee's comments during trials could set the tone for managing the conglomerate going forward.

Lee's initial sentence was halved and the remaining time he has not yet served was suspended. In December 2009, the elder Lee, who had chaired the country's Olympic committee, was pardoned after being convicted for tax evasion, in order to help with lobbying efforts for the 2018 Pyeongchang Olympics.

Despite Lee pleading not guilty, few South Koreans had expected him to walk out of prison.

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In 1998 he married the granddaughter of the founder of South Korean food giant Daesang. Commentators said today's decision was in keeping with past lenient legal treatment of their leaders. At the start of proceedings, prosecutors sought a 12-year jail term for Lee.

The appeal court said there was no corporate succession issue at stake, rejecting the lower court's view.

Lee's ailing father - Lee Kun-hee - played a key role in South Korea's bid for the winter games in 2011 as a member of the International Olympic Committee.

Samsung group heir Jay Y Lee has sentence suspended following corruption scandal.

"They even have a term for it here, called jail management". "We confirmed once again that Samsung is above the law and the court", Park Yong-jin said.

Former United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has declared that he won't run for South Korea's presidency.

The bribery amount - which prosecutors said was over $30 million and of which the judge of the district court accepted $7 million - was mostly rejected in the appellate court.

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