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Samsung's Jay Y. Lee receives 30-month prison term in bribery trial

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Samsung Group chief Lee Jae-yong

The appeals court said Samsung's compliance committee is not seen as effective enough to be considered one of the sentencing factors favorable to Lee.

The index dropped per cent in the previous session.

Back in 2017, Lee Jae-yong, the vice chairman of Samsung and would-be heir of the tech empire at the time, was found guilty in a bribery and embezzlement scandal, and was sentenced to 5 years in prison.

Chinese economic data, including fourth quarter GDP and December industrial output showed a further pickup in growth, but worries about rising infections in northeast region is fuelling concerns of another national wave.

"I find the court's decision regrettable".

Foreigners were net sellers of US$198.48 million worth of shares on the main board.

"It is very unfortunate that Samsung, the country's top company and proud global innovator, is repeatedly involved in crimes whenever there is a change in political power".

He was freed in 2018 after an appeals court suspended his two-and-half year jail term, but the Supreme Court determined that this sentence was too lenient, as it did not take into account the full scope of the bribes and gifts Lee provided. Lee, also known as Jay Y. Lee, was caught up in a massive influence-peddling scandal that brought down the government of former South Korean President Park Geun-hye.

Yonhap reported that some Lee supporters protested against the ruling in the courtroom in tears.

"The nature of this case is the former president's abuse of power violating corporate freedom and property rights". With the lowered amount, Lee's sentence was slashed to a suspended jail term of two years and six months. He didn't answer questions by reporters upon his arrival at the court. The scion of South Korea's biggest conglomerate was arrested at court immediately after the ruling.

Samsung was accused of paying 43bn won ($37.7m; £26.7m) to two non-profit foundations operated by Choi Soon-sil, a friend of Park's, in exchange for political support - alleged to include backing for a controversial Samsung merger which paved the way for Lee to become eventual head of the conglomerate. The justice department also saw that vice president Lee was recognized for other embezzlement charges in bribery.

The verdict saw him stay locked up for about a year, and then released earlier after a sentence reduction, seemingly just in time to take the chief role in the succession plans of his dying father, Samsung's chairman Lee Kun-hee, son of the company's founder.

With Lee returning to prison, the year he already served in detention is expected to count towards the sentence - leaving 18 months of his sentence to be served.

The trial was reopened by Korea's Supreme Court in 2019, however, which overturned the original verdict so after the retrial it looks like Lee Jae-yong is heading back to prison, reports Bloomberg.

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