Preparing A South Korean court sentenced Samsung Electronics’ heir Jay Y. Lee on Monday on charges of bribery, a ruling likely to have repercussions for his company and all family conglomerates in South Korea.
Lee was convicted of bribing an aide to former president (Park Geun-hye) and imprisoned for five years in 2017.
He denied wrongdoing, the sentence was reduced and stopped on appeal, and he was released after spending one year.
The Supreme Court returned the case to the Seoul Supreme Court, which will rule on it, and the prosecution is requesting nine years imprisonment within the verdict, which is supposed to be issued on Monday.
Legal experts say it is unlikely that the court will acquit me, but it may suspend his sentence, allowing him to remain free.
Lee is participating in a separate trial for accounting fraud and stock manipulation.
And for many South Koreans, it is not Lee as a personal that will be in the dock on Monday, but rather the entire family grouping system.
The family conglomerate system is credited with building the fourth largest economy in Asia, but has been criticized for using too much power with deficiencies in governance and compliance.
President Moon Jae-in was elected in 2017 after pledging to clean up family conglomerate practices, but he has since encouraged big companies to find jobs, especially after the coronavirus has undermined growth.
Public sentiment appears to have swung in favor of family blocs, and many South Koreans would like to see the heir of Samsung play a critical role in leading an empire. Samsung It deals with increasing global competition and pressure for innovation.
Any absence at Samsung about its ability to compete could affect the big deals in the areas it is trying to expand.
Lee pledged to transform Samsung and make compliance and social responsibility a top priority by ensuring that the independent compliance committee established last year continues to operate.
The judges who will rule on Monday said they take the issue of compliance into consideration when making a decision.
Lee’s father, Lee Kun-hee, who died in October, was found guilty of bribery in 1996 and tax evasion in 2008, but spent no time in prison, and was granted a presidential pardon.
But such treatment is no longer a given, as the leader of the third largest conglomerate, SK, spent more than two years in prison for embezzlement between 2013 and 2015.
A petition signed by 57,440 members of the public and submitted to the Presidential Office in South Korea hailed Samsung as South Korea’s pride, he called for Samsung’s heir to remain free and run the company that pays a lot of taxes and provides many jobs.