The decision sidelines Jay Y Lee from essential selections on the world’s largest electronics agency in a time of worldwide uncertainties.
A South Korean court docket has sentenced Samsung Electronics vice chairman Jay Y Lee to two-and-a-half years in jail, with implications for the path of the know-how big and the way Koreans view large enterprise.
With Monday’s verdict, Lee can be sidelined from key decision-making at Samsung Electronics because it strives to overhaul opponents, and from overseeing the inheritance from his father, who died in October.
Lee, 52, was convicted of bribing an affiliate of former President Park Geun-hye and jailed for 5 years in 2017. He denied wrongdoing, the sentence was lowered and suspended on enchantment, and he was launched after serving a 12 months.
The Supreme Court docket then despatched the case again to the Seoul Excessive Court docket, which issued Monday’s ruling.
Beneath South Korean legislation, solely a jail time period of three years or fewer may be suspended. For longer sentences, the individual should serve out the time period, barring a presidential pardon. With Lee returning to jail, the 12 months he already served in detention is anticipated to rely towards the sentence.
Lee’s ascension to the chairmanship of Samsung after his father’s demise in October is more likely to be delayed till he’s freed.
Individually, he faces one other case associated to a controversial merger between Samsung C&T and Cheil Industries in 2015, centred on allegations starting from violation of capital markets legislation to a breach of responsibility. Lee must attend hearings in that case from jail.
Monday’s sentencing may be appealed to the Supreme Court docket however as a result of the Supreme Court docket has already dominated on it as soon as, likelihood is decrease that its authorized interpretation will change, authorized specialists stated.
“In a case despatched again by the Supreme Court docket, there’s a narrower vary of choices for the judges’ bench … but it surely’s additionally true that the Supreme Court docket can’t actually contact the ultimate court docket’s sentencing,” stated Rha Seung-chul, a lawyer not related with the case.
The ruling creates a vacuum atop the world’s largest producer of reminiscence chips, smartphones and client home equipment whereas the COVID-19 pandemic exacerbates rising international financial uncertainty and competitors intensifies.
Whereas Samsung’s every day enterprise is run by a military of managers, Lee’s absence could stall or complicate large investments or strategic longer-term strikes. The chief has performed an energetic position on the firm, continuously becoming a member of government-related and public occasions after he was launched from the jail.