The de facto chief of South Korea’s Samsung business empire was convicted Monday over a huge corruption scandal.
He’s, however, jailed for two and a half years, in a ruling that deprives the tech giant of its top decision-maker.
Lee Jae-yong, vice-chairman of Samsung Electronics, the world’s biggest smartphone and memory chip maker, was found guilty of bribery and embezzlement in connection with the scandal that brought down president Park Geun-hye.
Lee actively provided bribes and implicitly asked the president to use her power to help his smooth succession at the head of the sprawling conglomerate, the Seoul Central District Court said in its verdict.
It is very unfortunate that Samsung, the country’s top company and proud global innovator, is repeatedly involved in crimes whenever there is a change in political power.
It jailed him for two and a half years, concluding a retrial that was the latest step in a long-running legal process that has hung over Samsung for years.
Lee — who had earlier walked into court grim-faced and wearing a facemask, without responding to reporters’ shouted questions — was immediately taken into custody.