BRIBERY SCANDAL: Jailed Samsung heir appeals 5-yr sentence

National Assembly Speaker Chung Sye-kyun speaks during a meeting with the American Chamber of Commerce in Korea in Seoul on Aug. 24 2017

The court said Lee had provided bribes anticipating support from Park, who was still president at the time, The Guardian quoted South Korea's Yonhap news agency.

Samsung Electronics' jailed Vice Chairman Lee Jae-yong is under pressure to give up his board membership after being convicted of bribery and embezzlement.

When millions of people took to the streets to demand president Park Geun-hye's ouster over a burgeoning corruption scandal, their anger was directed nearly as much at the companies that paid her secret confidante Choi Soon Sil, as at her. A panel of three judges revealed the decision and the investigation also found that Lee managed to hide overseas assets and other activities. Lee has been accused of offering bribes of 38 million Dollars for various departments after the death of his father.

Lee has denied any wrongdoing.

In 2015, USA hedge fund Elliot Management filed for an injunction against the merger of two Samsung units created to cement a power transfer to the heir apparent of Samsung Group from his ailing father Lee Kun-hee, who has been bedridden since May 2014 due to a heart attack.

On Monday, shares of Samsung Electronics fell more sharply than the wider Korean market.




The court accepted that Samsung paid W21.3 billion in support for Chung's equestrian training, W20 billion in donations to the dodgy Mir and K-Sports foundations established by Choi, and W1.6 billion in support funding for the foundation, which was run by Choi's niece (US$1=W1,128).

Under Korean law, Lee can be kept in detention a maximum of four months while a court considers his appeal.

Lee's imprisonment as an "unprecedented challenge" and encouraged staff to continue working hard as they wait for "the truth to come to light".

The decision will test whether Samsung can succeed without the crown prince of the Lee family at the helm. In return for the financial contribution, the court found that Ms. Choi colluded with Ms. Park to provide government backing for business deals relating to Mr. Lee has two sisters, but neither has been heavily involved in Samsung Electronics, which is widely regarded as the center of the Samsung empire. Last year, USA hedge fund Elliott Management sent a letter to the Samsung board, suggesting the company pays a special cash dividend, adopts a holding company structure and lists on NASDAQ. Some were pardoned and others got sentences reduced on appeal.

The Samsung trial has been portrayed within South Korea as a referendum on Seoul's commitment to cracking down on what critics say is the coddling of South Korea's top companies and their leaders.

"Samsung Electronics Vice-Chairman Kwon Oh Hyun is expected to contribute to minimizing the leadership vacuum for the time being".

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