• Samsung electronics vice-chairman Jay. Y. Lee has been sentenced to prison for bribery, embezzlement, and concealment of criminal proceedings worth $7.8 Million (8.6 Billion Won) by the Seoul High Court this Monday, 18th January for 2 years and 6 months.
• Lee Jae Yong, 52, was convicted for bribing an associate of former President and jailed for 5 years in 2017. But he denied his wrongdoing and was suspended on appeal and got released after one year in jail
• This case was returned to Seoul High Court by the Supreme Court and it held this judgment on Monday.
• As Lee has already served in detention, it might be counted towards the sentence-leaving 18 months of the sentence to be served.
• He (Lee) could appeal to the Supreme Court within seven days, but the legal experts opined that he hardly has the chance as the case was already ruled by the Supreme Court.
WHO WAS JAY. Y. LEE?
Lee Jae-yong or Jay. Y. Lee (in West) is a South Korean business magnate, chairman of Samsung Electronics and also the acting chairman of Samsung. He succeeded his father Lee Kun-hee who died in 2020. Hs is also known as the “Crown Prince of Samsung” and is the fourth wealthiest person in South Korea as of June.
He started his carrer in 1991 as Vice President of Strategic Planning and them as “Chief Customor Officer”, which was a special post created for him. Since 2012 he was the Vice-Chairman and described as having been groomed for to take over the family firm.
HIS CASE, CRIME AND FURTHER
Jay. Y. Lee has been accused for bribery, embezzlement and perjury by South Korean Prosecutor's office in January 2017 and investigation resulted in arrest. Lee was scandal for bribing an associate of former President Park Guen-hye and was questioned about 22 hours concerning illegal activities.
• On January 16, 2017 prosecutors seeked an arrest warrant which was denied on a court ruling from 19th January on stating it was difficult to recognize the need.
• On 17th February 2017 Lee was formally arrested for handling bribe to the South Korean President Park Geu-hye.
• Later on 7th August 2017 it was reported that, the prosecutors demanded a 12 year imrisonment for Lee.
• On 25th August he(Lee) was sentenced to 5 years imprisonment.
• On 5th February 2018, he was freed from the jail when South Korean Court suspended his sentence.
• On January 18, 2021, he was sentenced to 2.5 years and transferred to Seoul Detention Centre by a High Court.
LAW OF THE LAND
- Article 129-133 of Criminal Act regulates both giving and taking of bribe civering anti-corruption statuses.
- Article 7 and 8 of Prevention of Corruption and the Establishment and Management of the Anti-Corruption and Civil Right Commission (the “Act on Prevention of Corruption”) and the Public Officials' Code of Conduct for Maintenance of Integrity regulates the prevention of giving and taking of bribrs by public officials.
- On 28 September 2016, the Improper Solicitation and Graft Act, a very stringent and wide-reaching new anti-corruption law, came into effect.
- Article 357 of the Criminal Code prohibits giving an economic benefit to a person who is entrusted with conducting the business of another person in connection with such person's duties.
- Violation of the domestic public official bribery offense under the Criminal Code:
• up to five years' imprisonment for a public official who receives a bribe (Article 129(1), Criminal Code);
• up to five years' imprisonment or a fine of up to KRW 20 million (approximately US$20,000) for a giver of a bribe (Article 133(1), Criminal Code); and
• where the amount of the bribe received is KRW 30 million or more (approximately US$29,000), an aggravated penalty of imprisonment of 5 years or more to life imprisonment (depending on the amount of the bribe) for a public official who receives a bribe (Article 2(1), Specific Crimes Act).
• Also, under Article 2(2) the Specific Crimes Act, an additional fine of 2 to 5 times the amount of the bribe is additionally imposed for a public official who receives a bribe (regardless of the amount of the bribe).
- Violation of the domestic private commercial bribery offense under the Criminal Code:
• A recipient of a bribe may face imprisonment for up to five years or a fine of up to KRW 10 million (approximately US$9,700) (Article 357(1), Criminal Code).
• A giver of a bribe may face imprisonment for up to two years or a fine of up to KRW 5 million (approximately US$4,800) (Article 357(2), Criminal Code).
Jay. Y. Lee was sentenced to jail for a period of 2.5 years by the Seoul High Court on 18th January 2021. “Lee has shown willingness for management with newly stronger compliance, as he has vowed to create a transparent company,” said the presiding judge. As Lee has already served in detention, it might be counted towards the sentence-leaving 18 months of the sentence to be served. He (Lee) could appeal to the Supreme Court within seven days, but the legal experts opined that he hardly has the chance as the case was already ruled by the Supreme Court.
Bribery is a crime having international penalties. It doesn't matter who you are or where you are from in the case of bribery. It has no international boundaries. Even the international organizations like International Association of Anti-Corruption Authorities (IAACA), have records of corruption across the world.
"Fighting corruption is not just good governance, it's self-defence. It's patriotism" - Joe Biden.