SEOUL, Aug. 25 (Korea Bizwire) – A lower court in Seoul sentenced Samsung Electronics Vice Chairman Lee Jae-yong to five years in prison Friday, finding him guilty of bribery, embezzlement and other charges in a massive corruption scandal that led to the ouster of former President Park Geun-hye.
The Seoul Central District Court handed down the verdict, saying Lee is believed to have been involved in Samsung’s provision of 7.2 billion won (US$6.38 million) in bribes for the equestrian training of the daughter of Park’s longtime friend and confidante Choi Soon-sil.
Lee was also convicted of embezzlement, hiding assets overseas and perjury.
Prosecutors had demanded a 12-year jail term for Lee on charges that he offered or pledged 43.3 billion won (US$38 million) to win the government’s blessing for a merger between two Samsung subsidiaries under terms designed to increase his control over the entire Samsung empire.
Lee, who has been under pre-sentencing detention since February, has denied the charges.
Lee is expected to appeal the decision.