Samsung Electronics vice chairman Jay Y. Lee faces a nine-year prison term in the bribery case that contributed to the downfall of former president Park Guen-hye.
The bribery case dates back to 2017, when Lee was convicted of bribing Park and her close associate Choi Soon-sil. Prosecutors allege the bribes were meant to secure government backing for Lee’s attempt to inherit control of Samsung from his father Lee Kun-hee, then its chairman. The illegal payments were a major part of the corruption scandal that led to Park’s impeachment, arrest and 25-year prison sentence.
“Samsung is a group with such overwhelming power that it is said Korean companies are divided into Samsung and non-Samsung,” according to a statement.