SEOUL, South Korea – The Seoul High Court sentenced Samsung company leader Lee Jae Young to two and a half years in prison on Monday for bribing former South Korean President Park Geun-hye.
Mr. Lee can still take a case to the Supreme Court if Mr. Lee or the prosecutors want to file it there. In South Korea, the Supreme Court can either confirm a lower court ruling in a case or retry it for a retrial. A lower court ruling cannot be overruled.
When Mr. Lee’s case first reached the Supreme Court in 2019, the court Take it back to Seoul High Court of Retrial, saying it underestimated the bribes that Mr. Lee paid Ms. Park and her secret best friend, Choi Sun-sil, when Mrs. Park was in power. It said the amount should be 8.6 billion won ($ 7.8 million), not 3.6 billion, as the trial court found.
In its ruling issued on Monday, the Seoul High Court accepted 8.6 billion won in the correct amount, as per the instructions of the Supreme Court. Its decision to do so meant that the Supreme Court would have upheld the ruling, if the case ended up again.
Mr. Lee already spent a year in prison after prosecutors arrested him in 2017 in connection with the bribery case. He is now expected to spend a year and a half in prison with the time that he does, which sets him apart from the day-to-day running of one of the world’s most valuable tech giants.
After the court delivered its verdict on Monday, Mr. Lee was immediately arrested in the courtroom so he could start spending his time.