Samsung’s Vice Chairman jailed for 2.5 years over bribery

Samsung Electronics Vice Chairman Jay Y. Lee was sentenced to two and a half years of imprisonment, on Monday, for bribery by a South Korean court. With this, Lee will be sidelined from significant decision making at the company.

In 2017, Lee was convicted of bribing an associate of impeached President Park Geun-Hye and was jailed for the same for five years. However, he denied any wrongdoings and the sentence was reduced and suspended on appeal. He was released from the jail after serving a year.

Under South Korean law, only a jail term of three years or fewer can be suspended. For longer sentences, the person must serve out the term barring a presidential pardon. With Lee returning to jail, the year he already served in detention is expected to count toward the sentence.

Legal experts say Monday’s sentencing can be appealed to the Supreme Court, but because the Supreme Court has already ruled on it once, chances are lower that is legal interpretation will change.

“In a case sent back by the Supreme Court, there is a narrower range of options for the judges’ bench but it’s also true that the Supreme Court can’t really touch the final court’s sentencing,” said Rha Seung-Chul, a lawyer not connected with the case.

Subscribe to our newsletter
Subscribe to our newsletter
Sign up here to get the latest news delivered directly to your inbox.
You can unsubscribe at any time