The Seoul High Court sentenced Samsung Electronics President Lee Jae-yong to two years and six months in prison on Monday afternoon in a retrial of the bribery case.
In the previous trial, South Korean prosecutors asked the court to sentence Lee Jae-yong to nine years in prison. During the retrial, the independent procuratorial team and Lee Jae-yong debated how to evaluate Samsung's law-abiding surveillance committee around the issue of sentencing. Much attention has been paid to whether Lee Jae-yong was finally sentenced to a real sentence or a suspended sentence.
Lee Jae-yong was indicted in February 2017 on suspicion of asking then-President Park Geun-hye and her confidant Cui Ruiyuan to help him inherit management rights and offer 29.8 billion won (175 million yuan) in bribes. The court of first instance found Lee Jae-yong guilty of paying bribes and sentenced him to five years in prison, while the court of second instance sentenced him to two and a half years in prison with a suspended sentence of four years. In August 2019, the Supreme Court reversed the judgment of the court of second instance on Lee Jae-yong and other people involved in the case, Park Geun-hye and Choi soon-sil, and sent the case back to the Seoul High Court for retrial.