Lee Jae-yong, chairman of electronics company Samsung Electronics, on trial in South Korea for bribery, has been sentenced to 30 months in prison.
The Seoul Supreme Court announced its verdict on Lee, who had been tried in the country under a bribery scandal that previously led to the dismissal of former President Park Geun-hye.
The verdict stated that Lee was found guilty of bribing Park and Park’s adviser Choi Soon-sil.
Accordingly, Lee was sentenced to 2.5 years in prison.
Lee’s lawyers argued that the deal in 2015 was “normal business activity”, stating that he was a victim of abuse of presidential powers.
52-year-old Lee had previously been convicted on trial as part of a bribery scandal that led to the dismissal of former President Park.
Lee was accused of bribing government members for donations through non-governmental organizations headed by Park’s close friend Choi.
While the Seoul court sentenced Lee to 5 years in prison, the appeals court converted the sentence to 2.5 years of suspended prison, and Lee, who was detained for 1 year during the trial, was released after the verdict.
Entering the country’s technology giant Samsung in 1968, Lee made the company one of the world’s most successful electronics companies.
Former President was also sentenced to 22 years in prison
Former President Park Geun-hye was sentenced to 22 years in prison for bribery, abuse of office and other crimes.
On the other hand, the former President will also be punished for charges of violation of electoral laws and embezzlement, which were previously separated from the case file.
Park, 68, was dismissed from his post on charges in March 2017, then arrested and imprisoned. The former President, who argued that the charges against him were political, did not attend the hearings on the grounds that he did not trust the judiciary.
He was also sentenced to 20 years in prison and a fine for pressuring Choi for bribery, abuse and crime.