Billionaire chief of Samsung, Lee Jae-yong, has been found guilty by the Seoul Central District Court on Friday for offering bribes to Park Geun-hye when she was South Korea’s president, as well as to her close friend.
The 49 year old was arrested in February and wa now given a five year sentence for his wrongdoings. Prosecutors had sought a 12-year prison term. The businessman used bribery to get government support when controlling his Samsung business. His arrest led to public outrage and helped remove Park from office.
Lee was also found guilty by a panel of three judges for embezzling Samsung funds, as well as hiding assets overseas, and concealing profit from criminal acts and perjury.
“The essence of the case is unethical collusion between political power and capital,” the court said in a statement.
Samsung’s business is overseen by three chief executives.
“Samsung Electronics represents South Korea as a global company so we are deeply worried about the fallout from his long absence,” said a Korea Employers Federation spokesman. “It will be a disaster not just to an individual company but to the nation’s economy.”