Samsung heir Lee Jae-yong is appealing against his five-year jail sentence for bribery and other offences.
The 49-year-old was convicted of bribing South Korea’s president at the time, Park Geun-hye, to keep control of the electronics giant. Under South Korean law, he can be held in detention for up to four months while the appeal is heard.
Lee was vice-chairman of the conglomerate’s major asset Samsung Electronics. He was accused of offering $38 million in bribes to Ms. Park and an associate in 2015 to gain backing from her government for a merger of two Samsung subsidiaries.
Once the merger was complete, Lee was the biggest shareholder in the newly-expanded company. At his trial, Lee denied any involvement in the merger or the bribes.
Aziz Rahman, founder of Rahman Ravelli, said that regardless of how much Lee genuinely knew about the bribery, his case has shone a spotlight onto problems at Samsung.
He added: “What has happened at Samsung has led to a series of allegations and denials. The apportioning of blame continued for months – and none of this helped Samsung.
“Regardless of who is convicted for what went on and whatever form their denials take, Samsung has suffered heavily for failing to have proper preventative measures in place.
“Every company should review its working practices and ensure it has procedures in place to prevent – or at least identify the potential for – wrongdoing. The fact that Samsung did not should be seen as a high-profile warning to others in business.’’
Read our article: THE HUGE COSTS OF BRIBERY