[JURIST] A South Korean court sentenced billionaire head of Samsung [corporate website] Lee Jae-yong [Forbes backgrounder] to five years in jail for bribery on Friday. The Seoul Central District Court [official website, in Korean] found that Lee paid former president Park Geun-hye [BBC profile] in hopes of favors from Park. Lee was also convicted [Yonhap report] for embezzlement, hiding assets overseas, concealment of criminal proceeds, and perjury leading prosecutors to originally ask for a 12-year sentence. There were four other former Samsung executives that were also convicted in connection to this case.
This is the most recent development in a governmental scandal that has grown to involve many top former officials and corporate executives. In May former South Korean president Park Geun-hye denied [JURIST report] all charges as she pleaded not guilty at the beginning of her trial. In February South Korea’s special prosecutor indicted [JURIST report] former culture minister Yoon-sun Cho] and former presidential chief of staff Ki-choon Kim on charges of coercion, abuse of power and perjury connected to creation of a blacklist of opposition artists critical to Park. Park was arrested [JURIST report] on charges of bribery, coercion, abuse of power, and leaking government secrets on March 31.