Breaking: Samsung vice chairman Lee Jae-yong jailed for 5 years

Samsung

A South Korean Court has sentenced Samsung’s vice chairman Lee Jae-yong to five years imprisonment having been found guilty of corruption.

Mr Lee Jae-yong who is the head of the largest company in the country was accused of paying bribes in a bid to gain government favour for the company.

According to reports form local news agency Yonhap, the court said Mr Lee bribe to get support from ousted President Park Guen-hye. He was also charged of perjury and embezzlement of about 6.4 billion Korean Won.

Yonhap in a detailed arrangement of how events unfolded until August 25, 2017 when Mr Vice Chairman Lee Jae-yong was sentenced by the court.

The following is a chronology of major events leading to the sentencing hearing for Samsung Electronics Vice Chairman Lee Jae-yong charged with bribery and other crimes in a massive corruption scandal involving ousted former President Park Geun-hye.

2016

Oct. 27: Prosecutors launch a special investigation team to look into the corruption and influence-peddling scandal involving the former president, her confidante Choi Soon-sil and her aides.

Nov. 21: The investigation team questions Samsung Electronics Vice Chairman Lee as a witness.

Nov. 30: Park decides to appoint Park Young-soo, former chief of the Seoul High Prosecutors’ Office, as independent counsel.

Dec. 21: The independent counsel team officially begins its investigation into Park’s scandal and raids the offices of the health and welfare ministry and National Pension Service.

2017

Jan. 9: The independent counsel team questions two executives at Samsung’s now-disbanded Future Strategy Office — Vice Chairman Choi Gee-sung and President Chang Choong-ki — as witnesses.

Jan. 12: The team questions Samsung Electronics Vice Chairman Lee as a suspect.

Jan. 16: The team requests an arrest warrant against Lee on charges of bribery, embezzlement and perjury.

Jan. 19: The Seoul Central District Court rejects the request for Lee’s arrest warrant.

Jan. 20: The independent counsel team questions Samsung Electronics senior executive Hwang Sung-soo as a witness.

Jan. 25: The team questions two senior Samsung officials — Kim Jong-joong and Kim Shin — as witnesses.

Feb. 3: The team raids the offices of the Fair Trade Commission and Financial Services Commission.

Feb. 12: The team quizzes Chang Choong-ki, former executive of Samsung’s now-disbanded Future Strategy Office, as a suspect.

Feb. 13: The team questions Samsung heir Lee and other top executives — Park Sang-jin and Hwang Sung-soo — as suspects.

Feb. 14: The team requests arrest warrants for Lee Jae-yong and Park Sang-jin.

Feb. 17: The court issues an arrest warrant for Lee, dismisses the writ request for Park

Feb. 18-26: The special probe team conducts several interrogations of Lee.

Feb. 27: Acting President and Prime Minister Hwang Kyo-ahn decides not to extend the independent counsel’s probe period.

Feb. 28: The independent counsel indicts Lee on five charges, including bribery, embezzlement and perjury. It also indicts four Samsung officials — Choi Gee-sung, Chang Choong-ki, Park Sang-jin and Hwang Sung-soo — without detention. The Samsung Group disbands the Future Strategy Office with Choi and Chang offering to step down.

April 7: The court begins the official hearing for Lee and other four indicted Samsung officials.

July 4: An Chong-bum, a former senior economic secretary for ousted President Park, testifies at Lee’s court hearing.

July 7: Former Vice Culture Minister Kim Chong testifies at Lee’s trial.

July 12: Chung Yoo-ra, the daughter of former President Park’s confidante Choi, testifies at Lee’s trial.

July 26: Former President Park’s confidante Choi testifies at Lee’s trial.

July 31-Aug. 2: Lee and four co-defendants — Hwang Sung-soo, Park Sang-jin, Chang Choong-ki and Choi Gee-sung — are interrogated at court.

Aug. 7: The independent counsel requests a 12-year jail sentence for Lee, 10-year terms for Choi, Chang and Park, and seven years for Hwang.

Aug. 25: A Seoul court sentences Lee to five years in prison, finding him guilty of bribery, embezzlement and other charges. It also slaps Choi and Chang with four-year terms each, while meting out suspended sentences for Park and Hwang.