Samsung Boss Lee Jae-Yong is Jailed for Five Years

Samsung Boss Lee Jae-Yong is Jailed for Five Years

A South Korean court has sentenced the billionaire head of Samsung Group to five years in prison. Today, after a six-month trial for bribery and embezzlement, he'll learn his fate. It's part of a hugeinfluence-peddling scandal that brought down the government of former President Park Geun-hye.

Park was also at the Seoul Central District Court on Friday for a hearing in her corruption trial. A panel of three judges will decide Lee's verdict and no jury has been involved in Lee's case.

Lee was convicted of all five charges he faced, including allegations of embezzlement.

While the prosecutor had sought a 12 year prison time, the court only sentenced him to five years.

Lee Jae-yong, Samsung Group heir arrives at Seoul Central District Court to hear the bribery scandal verdict on August 25, 2017 in Seoul, South Korea.

The independent counsel argued that Lee bribed Park through Choi in return for the president's help in getting a state-run pension fund to exercise its voting rights to support a controversial merger in 2015, which cemented Lee's control over Samsung.

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The centre, in a Seoul suburb near apartments built by Samsung C&T and stores advertising Samsung Electronics' smartphones, is the country's third-most crowded correctional facility.

Samsung insiders say the group is unlikely - if Lee goes to jail - to follow the example of SK, a telecoms-to-energy conglomerate, which relied on a "Supex" group leadership committee when its chairman Chey Tae-won was jailed. The company has continued to post strong profits since he was first detained in the case. Lee's conviction is a blow to the Korean tech empire, whose shares saw a 1 percent drop after the court's ruling.

Lee's father- Lee Kun-hee was previously convicted of tax evasion in 2009 and received a suspended three-year sentence and was reportedly pardoned four months after the ruling.

"The family had an extraordinary influence over Park Geun-hye for essentially her entire adult life", David Kang, a Korea expert at the University of Southern California, told CNN previous year. "The question will really be how long does he serve".

Public approval of Lee's prosecution may underscore growing frustration in Asia's fourth-largest economy that the wealth amassed by conglomerates has not trickled down. The conglomerate's four other former key executives including Choi Gee-sung, former vice chairman and head of future strategy office, Samsung's control tower that was disbanded in the end of February, were also given jail sentences.

Moon's administration "is just going to work with these companies", Kang said. The two women are on trial in a different courtroom. Lee, who was represented by a team of 28 lawyers, has always professed his innocence and will appeal the sentence. Two of them had their sentences suspended.