Home / International/ Samsung heir Lee says spent year in jail on self-reflection

Samsung heir Lee says spent year in jail on self-reflection


Comments / {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}} Views / Tuesday, 6 February 2018 00:00


Reuters: Samsung Group heir Jay Y. Lee said yesterday he spent his year in jail on 

"precious" self-reflection and promised to show a better side in future, after a high court 

suspended his jail sentence in a corruption scandal and set him free.

"Again, I feel sorry to everyone for not showing my best side. And it has been a really 

precious time for a year reflecting on myself," Lee told reporters at a detention centre. 

 

Seoul (Reuters): A South Korean appeals court yesterday suspended a jail sentence handed down to Samsung Group heir Jay Y. Lee, setting him free after a year’s detention amid a corruption scandal that brought down the former president.

Seoul High Court jailed Lee for two and a half years, reducing the original term by half, and suspended the sentence for charges including bribery and embezzlement for four years, meaning he does not have to serve time as long as he behaves.

Lee, 49, heir to one of the world’s biggest corporate empires, had been detained since February 2017.

Emerging from Seoul Detention Centre, Lee said his time in jail had been useful. “Again, I feel sorry to everyone for not showing my best side. And it has been a really precious time for a year reflecting on myself,” Lee told reporters.

He added he needed to visit his ailing father, Samsung Group patriarch Lee Kun-hee, who suffered a heart attack in 2014.

“It’s a positive thing that the owner is returning,” said HMC Investment & Securities stock analyst Greg Roh. “...it could be good that the owner returns to set standards in such a rapidly changing time.”

Shares in flagship Samsung Electronics, of which Lee is Vice Chairman, reversed earlier losses and closed up 0.5% compared to a 1.3% fall in the wider market.

President Park Geun-hye was dismissed in March 2017 after being impeached in a case that brought scrutiny to the cosy ties between South Korea’s chaebols - big family-owned corporate groups - and its political leaders.

Park, who denies wrongdoing, is standing trial accused of bribery, abuse of power and coercion.

A lower court in August 2017 convicted Lee of bribing Park, by supporting the equestrian career of the daughter of a friend of Park, in return for help in strengthening his control of Samsung Electronics, the crown jewel of the country’s largest conglomerate and one of the world’s biggest technology companies. He was also convicted of embezzlement and other charges. But the appeals court said Lee did not solicit any such help. It also said just 3.6 billion won ($ 3.31 million) was paid as a bribe, not 7.2 billion as the lower court had said.

Presiding senior judge Cheong Hyung-sik also called the nature of Lee’s involvement in Samsung’s support for Park’s friend “passive compliance to political power”.

“Park threatened Samsung Electronics executives,” the judge said. “The defendant provided a bribe, knowing it was bribery to support (the friend’s daughter), but was unable to refuse.”

Prosecutors did not have an immediate comment. Lee’s lawyer, Lee In-jae, said the defence will appeal to the Supreme Court to try to overturn the convictions.

Lee, wearing a dark suit and white shirt and looking noticeably worn, did not show any emotion when the ruling was announced.

Prosecutors had sought a 12-year jail term for Lee.

Chung Sun-sup, CEO of research firm Chaebul.com, said he was disappointed with the ruling.

“It’s repeating the same old history, being lenient to the chaebol owners,” he said. “I think Lee has to show that he reassure to the public he can change the corporate culture.”

With the end of his year-long detention, which according to local media he adjusted to with physical workouts and reading books, Lee could continue with his existing roles, including as director of Samsung Electronics.


Share This Article


DISCLAIMER:

1. All comments will be moderated by the Daily FT Web Editor.

2. Comments that are abusive, obscene, incendiary, defamatory or irrelevant will not be published.

3. We may remove hyperlinks within comments.

4. Kindly use a genuine email ID and provide your name.

5. Spamming the comments section under different user names may result in being blacklisted.

COMMENTS

Today's Columnists

Wonder Woman

Saturday, 26 May 2018

Tell me about yourself – what you do, your family, your career and so on


Separatist threat arising from indifference to environmental concerns

Saturday, 26 May 2018

The 100-day agitation against a major copper smelting plant at Thoothukudi in Tamil Nadu, which led to 13 deaths in police firing earlier this week, has brought into the open the many-faceted dangers of ignoring environmental issues.


A dilemma ?

Saturday, 26 May 2018

“Everything is abnormal in our society… nobody knows how to act-not only in the most difficult situations, but even in the simplest”


It is possible to amend Muslim Marriage Law: Ash Sheik Muneer Malaffer (Naleemi)

Friday, 25 May 2018

I have written two articles heavily criticising the parties supposedly spearheaded the attacks against Muslims


Columnists More