South Korea: Heir to South Korea’s Samsung faces day of reckoning after four years of graft trial

A South Korean court will sentence Samsung Electronics Co Ltd heir Jay Y. Lee on a bribery charge on Monday, a ruling likely to have ramifications not just for his company but for all of South Korea’s chaebol conglomerates.

Lee, 52, was convicted of bribing an associate of former President Park Geun-hye and jailed for five years in 2017. He denied wrongdoing, the sentence was reduced and suspended on appeal, and he was released after serving a year.

The Supreme Court then sent the case back to the Seoul High Court, which will rule on it, and the sentencing, on Monday. Prosecutors have called for a nine-year jail term.

Legal experts say the court is highly unlikely to acquit Lee but it could suspend his sentence, allowing him to remain free. Lee is involved in a separate trial for accounting fraud and stock manipulation.

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(Photo: REUTERS/Kim Hong-Ji)

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