19:22 GMT28 February 2021
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    The businessman was involved in the scandal that led to the impeachment of South Korean President Park Geun-hye in 2016-2017, as she allegedly allowed her friends to illegally extract money for non-commercial funds from major corporations.

    Samsung Electronics vice chairman Lee Jae-yong has been sentenced to two-and-a-half years in prison, the Seoul High Court announced on Monday, as cited by the Yonhap news agency.

    According to the prosecution, he provided over $38 million to Choi Soon-sil, an associate of ex-Korean President Park Geun-hye, in return for state support of a merger between Samsung's two subsidiaries - Cheil Industries Inc. and Samsung C&T Corporation.

    In this Tuesday, Dec, 6, 2016, file photo, Lee Jae-yong, a vice chairman of Samsung Electronics Co., arrives for a hearing at the National Assembly in Seoul, South Korea
    © AP Photo / Lee Jin-man, File
    In this Tuesday, Dec, 6, 2016, file photo, Lee Jae-yong, a vice chairman of Samsung Electronics Co., arrives for a hearing at the National Assembly in Seoul, South Korea

    Lee was originally sentenced to five years in 2017 and even spent one year in prison, but his sentence was suspended on appeal and reduced in 2018, so the businessman was released. According to him, Samsung made the donations without seeking profits.

    In 2019, the Supreme Court returned the case to the high court, stating the amount of Lee's bribes had been undervalued, as Samsung bought at least three horses for Choi's daughter and also funded a winter sports foundation run by Choi's niece.

    Ex-President Park and her confidant Choi are currently serving prison terms of 22 years and 18 years, respectively.

    Tags:
    corruption charges, corruption scandal, corruption probe, corruption, Corruption, South Korea, Samsung, Samsung
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