The possibility of Samsung Group Vice Chairman Lee Jae-yong being sentenced to prison has increased. On Aug. 29, the Supreme Court found Lee guilty of some of the charges that he was acquitted in the second trial, raising the possibility that he will be sentenced to prison at a later trial.
The Supreme Court overturned the original ruling that sentenced Lee to two years and six months in prison with a suspended sentence of four years and sent the case back to the Seoul High Court.
Regarding the size of the bribes provided by Samsung, the Supreme Court additionally recognized the part of Lee's second-judge ruling as bribes.
The Supreme Court judged 3.4 billion won in horse purchases as bribes, judging that Samsung handed over the ownership of the three pieces of the horse to Choi. The court also judged 1.6 billion won given to the Winter Sports and Young Talent Center, which was not recognized as bribes in Lee's second-judge ruling, as bribes. Accordingly, Lee's acceptance of bribes increased by 5 billion won from the second trial.
Samsung expressed regret over the Supreme Court's decision. Samsung's lawyers said after the ruling that it was regrettable to see the actions following the authorities’ demand as bribery.
In addition, Samsung Electronics said in an official statement that it is deeply sorry that the incident has caused concern to the public. "We will stick to our corporate role in order not to repeat past mistakes in the future," the company said. "We ask for more help and support so that Samsung can overcome the crisis and contribute to the national economy amid growing uncertainty."