A court in South Korea has sentenced Samsung’s heir-apparent Lee Jae-yong to five years in prison for corruption. Lee was convicted of bribery in a scandal that also saw the impeachment of South Korea’s former president.
The criminal conviction is a blow for Samsung, the world’s largest smartphone maker and South Korea’s biggest family-run conglomerate whose businesses are estimated to account for around 15% of the country’s entire economy.
He had been detained since February on a string of corruption charges. These included bribery, embezzlement and hiding assets overseas.
The 49-year-old is accused of giving donations worth $36m to a non-profit foundations operated by Choi Soon-sil, a friend of South Korea’s former President Park Geun-hye, in return for political favours. His lawyer said on Friday they would appeal against the court’s decision.