Samsung Heir Jay Y. Lee Freed After Jail Sentence Suspended

Samsung's Jay Y. Lee Walks Free As South Korea Court Suspends Jail Term

The vice-chairman of global mobile giants samsung Jay Y. Lee now walks free

After being sentenced to five years behind bars for corruption in August 2017, Samsung Electronics vice chairman and heir-apparent Lee Jae-yong has just walked free from prison.

On Monday, a Danish court extended the detention of Chung Yoo-ra, the daughter of Choi Soon-sil, the woman at the centre of a corruption scandal that led to the impeachment of Park Geun-hye, South Korea's president.

His sentencing confirmed what had always been suspected: links between the nation's most successful and renowned company and the country's government.

Lee, 50, was arrested on February 17, 2017 and was indicted on five charges, including bribery, embezzlement and hiding assets overseas.

Lee's father Lee Kun-Hee went on to build up the tech empire but was convicted of bribery in 1996.

The scion of South Korea's powerful Samsung dynasty has been released from prison after an appeals court on Monday chose to suspend the five-year sentence he received just six months ago.

Lee's lawyer, Lee Injae, told reporters outside the court that, while he respects the court's courage and wisdom, Lee still plans to appeal over his conviction.


Samsung was founded by Lee's grandfather some 80 years ago as an exporter of fruit and dried fish but has since grown into a huge, diversified conglomerate that now comprises 60 different business units.

Lee was accused of bribing political leaders in order to turn government decisions in favor of Samsung group companies.

Cover image: Samsung Electronics vice-chairman Lee Jae-yong meets dignitaries at an event in 2014. Samsung accounts for a considerable part of the South Korean economy.

The trial a year ago centered around whether Lee was guilty of bribing Park in exchange for government support for a merger that helped him tighten control over Samsung.

Lee is now on probation for four years. Claims that he has been a successful leader are questionable. The court said that this wasn't a typical example of the "cozy relationship between politics and business", adding that there was no evidence that the defendants had requested or gained benefits from offering a bribe to Park.

Former United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has declared that he won't run for South Korea's presidency.

The more lenient ruling surprised many who were expecting a tough stance from the appeal court and many South Koreans took to social media and online news portals to express anger at the ruling and the judge who issued the verdict.

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