Samsung heir does not pass Go, does not collect $200

Lee Jae-yong vice chairman of Samsung Electronics Co. arrives for his trial at the Seoul Central District Court in Seoul South Korea

The court is reading out verdicts for several accused before announcing sentences. Moreover, Lee was accused of embezzlement and hiding assets overseas but he denied all charges.

His sentence was the mandatory minimum.

The ruling said the case was about an immoral link between political and business powers, calling it as an ongoing cozy bond between politicians and businessmen that makes people feel a sense of loss.

The heir to the Samsung business empire, including the world's biggest smartphone maker, awaited the verdict on August 25 in his corruption trial over the scandal that brought down South Korean president Park Geun-Hye.

Two other former executives were sentenced to three and two-and-a-half years in suspended jail terms respectively. He has been acting chairman since his father had a heart attack in 2014.

Reports said Samsung has not even set up an internal body to plan for a possible leadership vacuum, and has no plans to resurrect its corporate strategy office - known as the "control tower" - which was disbanded in February amid criticism of its role in the scandal.

Public anger over the corruption scandal contributed to Ms. Park's ouster as president in March.

Two other Samsung leaders were convicted but not jailed.

Prosecutors have argued that Park and Lee took part in the same act of bribery - so Lee's conviction would appear ominous for the former president.

Samsung did not have any immediate comment.

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The trial began in April and Lee was under physical detention throughout. She was impeached a year ago and is still on trial on an array of corruption charges. The merger of Samsung C&T and Cheil Industries, which narrowly won C&T shareholder approval with the backing of the National Pension Service, strengthened Lee's control over the group. Lee bribed the government, expecting to gain state support for a controversial merger of two Samsung-controlled companies.

The independent counsel said Lee and Samsung leaders offered or promised 43.3 billion won ($38.4 million) in bribes.

The figure includes 13-point-five billion won promised for sponsorship of the equestrian training for Choi's daughter, Chung Yoo-ra.

Its shares have soared in recent months, but were down 1.05 percent on Friday afternoon after the verdict.

Supporters of the ousted president staged a rally outside the court on Friday to demand Lee's release, facing off against another group of protesters who instead demanded punishment for the Samsung boss.

While convicting Lee and others for bribery, the court rejected some arguments by the independent counsel concerning the scope of bribes.

"The case should serve as momentum for the nation to cut cronyism ties between politics and business", says a statement from his office. "As Samsung executives, they had a great deal of negative impact on society and the economy". And Samsung is the largest and most significant example of that.

Kim said that as the group's heir apparent, Lee "stood to benefit the most" from any political favors for Samsung. Lee's absence, as each Samsung business segment is run by its own professional management team. Both former Samsung Electronics Vice Chairman Choi Gee-sung and Chang Choong-ki, the company's former president, were given four-year jail terms for bribery and embezzling corporate funds. Prison time would have sent a message that no one was above the law, including chaebol leaders. "We are confident the ruling will be overturned", Song said.

"Apparently Park's trial will continue until October", said Vaessen. She (Munich: SOQ.MU - news) and Choi are both now on trial. The ruling is seen by many in South Korea as a watershed moment in long-running efforts to overhaul the system.



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