Billionaire Samsung offspring Lee Jae-yong was sent back to prison on Monday after a South Korean court sentenced him to two and a half years in prison for his involvement in a 2016 corruption scandal that sparked massive street protests and ousted the then President of South Korea.
In a highly anticipated retrial, the Seoul Supreme Court found Lee guilty of bribing then-President Park Geun-hye and her close confidante to gain government support for a merger between two Samsung subsidiaries in 2015 which helped strengthen its control over the largest group of companies in the country.
Lee’s lawyers had portrayed him as a victim of abuse of power by the president and described the 2015 deal as part of “normal business”. Lee, who wore a mask, black suit and tie, was taken into custody following the verdict. When he arrived at the court, he did not answer questions from reporters. Lee Injae, an attorney who heads Lee Jae-yong’s defense team, regretted the court’s decision. He did not specifically say whether there would be an objection. Samsung did not provide any explanation of the verdict.
(Image credit: AP)
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