Lee jailed for 5 years in bribery case

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Lee jailed for 5 years in bribery case

The so-called "trial of the century" has gripped South Korea for months.

"I think the court should have accepted prosecutors' request for 12 years in prison", said Choi Sukun, a 37-year-old teacher in Seoul. All the charges related to "Choi-gate", the corruption scandal that led to the impeachment of Park Geun-hye as president in March.

Samsung Electronics, the conglomerate's flagship, fell 1.1 percent but ended off the day's lows hit shortly after the court announced the conviction and sentencing of Jay Y. Lee.

"Apparently Park's trial will continue until October", said Vaessen.

Analysts differ on the potential impact of the verdict and sentence on Samsung.

Vaessen said judges considered important the fact the Lee paid briberies to Choi "to get something in reward".

But Lee Kun-hee suddenly had a heart attack in early 2014 and has been in a coma ever since. The court added that bribes were given in anticipation of helping secure approval for a merger between two Samsung subsidiary companies that gave Lee more power at the expense of other shareholders. Four other top Samsung executives were also convicted and received sentences of up to four years. Park has denied all wrongdoing and has blamed Choi for ruining their friendship. Even if Lee is convicted, it wouldn't mean the end of his career. This could lay grounds of establishment that massive companies like Samsung could easily set up several connections with political authorities in South Korea.

The court's decision also contradicted Samsung's officially stated position that its recent merger of Cheil Industries and Samsung C&T had nothing to do with the passing of the mantle to Lee from his late father, and was merely about creating businesses synergies.

Investors have been surprisingly sanguine. Samsung Electronics has turned in strong results and bounced back from an embarrassing spate of fires involving its Galaxy Note 7 smartphone, but Samsung has argued that Mr. Truth be told the firm has been getting along just fine since this debacle flared up previous year. Samsung says the Lee family isn't involved in day-to-day operations, leaving those responsibilities to trusted lieutenants. In other cases of business tycoons under prosecutorial investigation, right-hand executives avoided sentence when their chiefs went to prison, allowing the group to manage business in general until their owners were released.

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