Samsung’s heir Lee Jae-yong has been freed from jail after a South-Korean court suspended his five year sentence. Lee went to jail for bribing the country´s ex-president. The case came amidst growing anger against the country´s biggest companies and their influence on society. The Samsung Group consists of 60 interlinked companies and Samsung Electronics is regarded as the jewel. The decision, still, might be challenged in the country´s supreme court.
The original sentence was halved to two and a half years on Monday earlier this week. The remaining charges were suspended so that Lee doesn’t have to serve any more prison time, but apparently he still plans on appealing against the remaining guilty verdicts. Lee was jailed for corruption last year, including bribery and embezzlement. He is accused of donating around €30 million to non-profit foundations in return for political favours.
The scandal brought to light the connection between family-run conglomerates and political power. It also brought with it, the downfall of former president Park Geun-hye. The foundations were operated by a close friend of the former president. Apparently Lee was seeking support for restructuring the company that would ultimately strengthen his position.
The outcome of this scandal was unexpected– that fact that Lee walks free, came rather as a big surprise to many. However, Samsung will be relieved. Although the scandal showed no short term effect on share price or profit it would definitely have been more problematic in the long run to be without direction.
heir (eəʳ) – Erbe/in
to suspend (səˈspend) – etw aussetzen, einstellen
to bribe (braɪb) – jdn bestechen
influence (ˈɪnfluən(t)s) – der Einfluss
to regard (rɪˈgɑ:d) – betrachten
to challenge (ˈtʃælɪnʤ) – herausfordern, infrage stellen
remaining (rɪˈmeɪnɪŋ) – übrig, restlich, verbleibend
to appeal (əˈpi:l) – Einspurch einlegen, erheben
embezzlement (ɪmˈbezl̩mənt) – die Veruntreuung, Unterschlagung
to donate (də(ʊ)ˈneɪt) – etw spenden
in return (rɪˈtɜ:n) – im Gegenzug
favour (ˈfeɪvəʳ) – der Gefallen
conglomerate (kənˈglɒməreɪt) – ds Konglomerat, Mischkonzern
downfall (daʊnfɔ:l) – der Untergang, Ruin, Sturz
outcome (aʊtkʌm) – das Ergebnis, Resultat
unexpected (ˌʌnɪkˈspektɪd) – unerwartet, unvorhergesehen
relieved (rɪˈli:vd) – erleichtert
share price (ʃeəʳ praɪs) – der Aktienpreis, Aktienkurs