MADRID, Jan 18 (EUROPA PRESS) –
South Korean businessman Lee Jae-yong, heir to the Samsung empire and vice president of the company, will be returned to prison after the Seoul High Court sentenced him to two and a half years in prison for his role in a corruption scandal. that also peppered Park Geun-hye, president of South Korea between 2013 and until her impeachment in 2017.
“(Lee) actively offered Park bribes and engaged in inappropriate activities to request, albeit implicitly, Park’s support in the transfer of managerial power (at Samsung),” the court said in the verdict, collected by the South Korean agency Yonhap.
However, the sentence handed down on Monday was substantially less than the nine years requested by prosecutors, as the court took into consideration the difficulty for the businessman to reject requests for bribes by the then president of the country.
Lee, 52, had been sentenced in 2017 to five years in prison for offering billions of won to Choi Soon Sil, a close friend of then-South Korean President Park Geun-hye, so that through this friendship, win the government’s favor in the merger of two Samsung subsidiaries.
Despite the fact that a year later this penalty would be lowered by the appeals court, which led to the businessman’s release from prison, later the Supreme Court decided to request the review of the case by the Seoul High Court.
Last week, the South Korean Supreme Court upheld the 20-year prison sentence for former President Park Geun Hye, accused of corruption, three years after she was convicted of influence peddling, bribery, and abuse of power, in considered one of the biggest political scandals in the country.
Park, daughter of military dictator Park Chung Hee, was sentenced in 2018 to 24 years in prison after being convicted of 16 of the 18 corruption charges against her and paying a fine of 18 billion won (13.4 million won). euros) for all the abuses he incurred during his tenure.
Among other charges, Park was found guilty of abuse of power for forcing various companies, such as Samsung and Lotte, to donate 77.4 billion won (57.9 million euros) to two foundations controlled by a close friend, Choi Soon Sil; as well as receiving bribes amounting to 3.5 billion won ($ 2.6 million) between May 2013 and September 2016.