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Read more about Samsung heir walks free after South Korea court suspends 5-year jail term on Business Standard. However, Jay Y Lee has been found guilty of some lesser charges and is prohibited from travelling outside South Korea without a judge\'s approval

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samsung heir walks free after south korea court

Samsung heir walks free after South Korea

court suspends 5-year jail term

A South Korean appeals court on Monday suspended a jail sentence handed

down to Samsung Group heir Jay Y. Lee, setting him free after a year's detention

amid a corruption scandal that brought down the former president.

Seoul High Court jailed Lee for two and a half years, reducing the original term by

half, and suspended the sentence for charges including bribery and

embezzlement, meaning he does not have to serve time.

Lee, 49, heir to one of the world's biggest corporate empires, had been detained

since last February.

president park geun hye was dismissed in march

President Park Geun-hye was dismissed in March after being impeached in a case

that brought scrutiny to the nature of the ties between South Korea's chaebols -

big family-owned corporate groups - and its political leaders.

Park, who denies wrongdoing, is standing trial accused of bribery, abuse of power

and coercion.

A lower court in August convicted Lee for bribing Park for help in strengthening

his control of Samsung Electronics, the crown jewel of the country's largest

conglomerate and one of the world's biggest technology companies, as well as

embezzlement and other charges.

The court said Samsung's financial support for entities backed by a friend of

Park's, Choi Soon-sil, constituted bribery, including 7.2 billion won ($6.4 million)

to sponsor the equestrian career of Choi's daughter.

Presiding senior judge Cheong Hyung-sik on Monday called the nature of Lee's

involvement in Samsung's monetary support for Choi a "passive compliance to

political power".

Prosecutors and Samsung did not have an immediate comment.

Lee, whose face was noticeably worn, did not show any emotion when the ruling

was announced.

Prosecutors had sought a 12-year jail term for Lee. The ruling is expected to be

appealed again to the Supreme Court, legal experts said.

With the end of his year-long detention, which according to local media he

adjusted to with physical workouts and reading books, Lee could continue with

his existing roles including director of Samsung Electronics.

however he has been found guilty of some lesser

However he has been found guilty of some lesser charges and is prohibited from

travelling outside South Korea without a judge's approval, according to law firm

Cho & Partners.

The lower court ruling in August had said while Lee never asked for President

Park's help directly, the fact that a 2015 merger of two Samsung affiliates did help

cement Lee's control over Samsung Electronics implied he was asking for the

president's help to strengthen his control of the firm.

His lawyers had strongly challenged this logic and said that the merger was done

for business reasons.

Some criminal lawyers had expected Lee to be found innocent of most of the

charges, as much of the evidence at the trial has been circumstantial.

But although he was set free from detention by the appeals court, the stigma may

stick, lawyers say.

"Public opinion will get riled up and people will keep thinking there was some

quid pro quo between Samsung's Lee and the president," Lee Jung-jae, a lawyer

at law firm Jung said.

Article By - Business Standard