Samsung leader Jay Y. Lee given 5-year jail sentence for bribery

Polaris  Newscom

Polaris Newscom

Korean KoonAng Daily - a company known for close ties with the Samsung Group - stated, "Samsung lawyers will have a good case for an appeal", and that "No companies can resist such blunt demands from a president who has the final say in economic policy". There is also potential for a destabilising family feud over inheritance when the elder Lee dies.

It also presents new challenges for Samsung, a constellation of businesses so vast that it accounts for about one-fifth of South Korea's exports all by itself. He said he was unaware of the foundations or the donations, which were overseen by other executives.

A scandal which has re-shaped South Korean politics and rocked the country's elite - overshadowing even North Korean missile threats - began when reporters at CNN affiliate JTBC found a computer belonging to Choi Soon-sil late a year ago.

Lee joined the Samsung Electronics board in October 2016 around the time of the launch of the company's Galaxy Note 7 smartphone model that continually caught fire and resulted in a subsequent termination of the model. The trials are now being carried out separately, but given that these charges are two sides of the same coin, the judges assigned to the Park case can't help but take this judgement into consideration.

The list of bribes included $3.2 million sent to a front company owned by the confidant, Choi Soon-sil, as well as thoroughbred horses of a similar worth that the company gave to Choi's daughter. The attempts to hide Samsung's involvement also constituted crimes, it said. Those who are convicted of receiving bribes, however, are subjected to a heavier punishment - at least five years in prison and up to life sentence when the amount is more than 100 million won. Judges rejected Samsung's argument.

Saudi haj pilgrimage flights wait for landing rights; Qatar denies blocking them
A fire broke out in a hotel in the Saudi city Makkah on Monday, sparking alarm among Haj pilgrims, an official said on Monday. Not just that King Salman has also said that he would fly Qatari pilgrims on Saudi Airlines at his expense.

There was plenty of evidence including presidential documents and testimonies, the Hankyoreh said.

If the defence successfully argues such points, there is a chance that it cannot only get Lee's sentence brought down to three years or less but also get it suspended, allowing his release, these lawyers said. Twice convicted of tax evasion and bribery, the elder Lee never spent any time in prison.

"We are confident the ruling will be overturned", lawyer Song Wu-cheol told reporters after the ruling by the Seoul Central District Court.

It's nearly a rite of passage for the bosses of family-controlled South Korean conglomerates known as chaebol to go to prison for white collar crimes only to later make a comeback, AP points out.

But Lee's case may be different because the public is increasingly unwilling to indulge the double standards long enjoyed by families who were lionised a generation ago for helping to turn South Korea into a manufacturing powerhouse.

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