Samsung’s heir apparent, Jay Y. Lee (also known as Lee Jae-yong), has been jailed for five years.
The billionaire’s lawyer has already said that he will be appealing the sentence, passed on charges of bribery, embezzlement and the concealment of assets, amongst other things.
Lee’s six-month trial is part of a corruption scandal that toppled the country’s former president, Park Geun-hye.
Many believe that his conviction will mean a guilty verdict for Park, too.
Protests outside court
Protesters gathered outside the court in support of Lee and their former president.
They claim prosecutors built their case on circumstantial evidence and unsubstantiated media claims.
On the other side of the road, however, anti-corruption demonstrators staged a rival protest. They see the trials as a chance to address the cosy relations between South Korea’s politicians and its business leaders.
Impact on Samsung
The third generation head of the Samsung dynasty, 49-year old lee Lee has been at the helm of the company since his father’s 2014 heart attack.
Investors worry that his conviction could leave a leadership vacuum.
Tomorrow at trial,We look forward to good results for Samsung Chairman Lee Jae-yong pic.twitter.com/bhhA9PGRA0— trung ho Lee (@Superwaveworld) August 24, 2017
At least Lee Jae-yong wan’t sharing classified information with a shaman or rigging elections. South Korea is such a corrupt country.— JakeOrleans (@JackduORleans) August 25, 2017