Samsung heir walks free after appeals court quashes bribery charges

Lee Jae-yong to challenge remaining corruption allegations

By Kat Hall

Posted in Business, 5th February 2018 11:37 GMT

The heir to Samsung, Lee Jae-yong, has been freed with a suspended sentence after spending a year in jail on charges of offering bribes to the disgraced former president of South Korea, Park Geun-hye.

Last year, Lee was sentenced to five years behind bars for corruption after a six-month trial.

He had been charged with offering $38m (£27m) in bribes to the former president, who is being held in a detention centre, and her confidant Choi Soon-sil in the hope of receiving favours. The Seoul court had also found him guilty of hiding assets abroad, embezzlement and perjury.

But today Seoul's appeals court rejected most of the bribery charges against Lee. However, it still found him guilty of giving 3.6bn won (£2.3m) for equestrian training of Choi's daughter and embezzling Samsung funds.

The appeals court halved Lee's sentence to two-and-a-half years, suspended for four years. It said Samsung had not sought any favours from Park Geun-hye.

"This is a case where Ms Park intimidated Samsung's management and her friend pursued personal interests," the court said in the ruling. "The defendant passively offered bribes because he could not easily turn down their request."

Lee will appeal the remaining bribery charges at the country's supreme court.

The ruling means Lee will be able to return to the helm of the electronics conglomerate.

Just last week, Samsung posted bumper annual results on the back of high memory chip demand, with yearly operating profit up 83 per cent to 53.7 trillion won (£35.4bn). ®

Sign up to our NewsletterGet IT in your inbox daily


More from The Register

Intel-Micron scrap the summer diet, enlarge 3D XPoint mem DIMM fab

Size does matter... especially when you've got launch deadlines to hit

Micron, Intel consciously uncouple 3D NAND development

Will continue to work on 3D XPoint together

Besides the XPoint: Persistent memory tech is cool, but the price tag... OUCH

Analysis No economies of scale = piss-poor adoption

IBM Bluemix to offer Intel 3D XPoint-powered cloud in late 2017

First comes a cloud testbed so we can figure out what non-volatile memory is good for

Samsung preps for Z-SSD smackdown on Intel Optane drives

February reveal for wannabe XPoint killer

Want to use 3D XPoint DIMMs with Intel Purley Xeons? Wait a couple of years for second-gen

Not first-gen Purley in 2017 as we were sorta promised

A challenger appears: Specs for Samsung's potential Optane killer

Analysis Z-NAND has near-3D XPoint access latency and could scale capacity faster too

Flashy Intel sees the XPoint of solid state

NAND revenues top $800m/quarter with XPOint forecast to be a 2018 revenue driver

Intel's Optane XPoint DIMMs pushed back – source

First media unsuitable for DIMM use and ASIC tuning needed

MacBook killer? New Lenovo offering sexed up with XPoint booster

Desk warriors get Optane cache to chew through data faster