The de facto leader of Samsung Group, Lee Jae-yong, was sent back to prison today, now three years since he was let out, sentenced to two and a half years in the bribery case involving former President Park Geun-hye.
With the details, our Kim Do-yeon on the line.
Do-yeon, tell us about the court’s decision today.
Devin, so the Seoul High Court ruled that 7.7 million U.S. dollars’ worth of gifts and other funding given to former President Park Geun-hye and her confidante Choi Soon-sil constituted bribes, and sentenced the Samsung Electronics Vice Chairman to two and a half years.
The Seoul High Court was hearing the case again after the Supreme Court in 2019 overturned an appeals court’s decision, saying that the sentence it handed down was too lenient.
That appeals ruling in 2018 shortened his original five years in prison to 2-and-a-half suspended for four years, which meant he was let go.
The bribes acknowledged by the court include three horses Lee gave to Choi Soon-sil’s daughter, along with some monetary transactions.
The ruling is most likely final he can appeal, but there’s not much chance of overturning this decision as it was requested by the highest court.
The business tycoon hoped to avoid prison time as the appeals court said last year that it would take into account remorse shown by Samsung going forward and its efforts to prevent any further illicit activities.
An independent compliance committee at the company over the past year has been working to fulfill the court’s requirements, but the court said today that the results were not good enough to warrant lowering the penalty.
That’s all I have for you at this hour, back to you Devin.

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