Lee had paid bribes in anticipation of favors from then president Park Geun-hye, according to a landmark ruling by a Seoul court, which also found him guilty of hiding assets overseas, embezzlement, and perjury.
The jailing of Samsung heir Jay Y. Lee who was found guilty of bribery after a six-month trial has been greeted with angry demonstrations by hundreds of die-hard supporters of ousted South Korean President Park Geun-hye.
The prosecution team were succesful in presenting enough evidence to prove that Lee along other Samsung officials bribed the government for meeting their personal and official needs.
The five never specifically asked for the former-president's assistance, the prosecution conceded, but took advantage of the now-disgraced politician's confidant, Choi Soon-sil, and the sway she held over Park. Prosecutors alleged that Lee and the other executives gave 43.3 billion won (about $38 million) in bribes to organizations controlled by Choi in return for favors. They are on trial over charges of receiving bribes from local firms including Samsung, with the ruling expected in October. He was found guilty of bribery, embezzlement & perjury, reports the NY Times.
The case has been surrounded by huge public pressure amid growing resentment against South Korea's biggest companies known as chaebols.
The case, which South Korean press labelled the "trial of the century", is thought to have spooked investors who are concerned that a power vacuum may prevent the company and its subsidiaries from making decisions.
The billionaire head of Samsung has on Friday been sentenced to five years in prison. He also laid some of the blame on Park, saying the former president made "aggressive demands" of Samsung. The Samsung scandal contributed to the impeachment of President Park Geun-hye. Samsung shares went down one percent on the verdict. This could lay grounds of establishment that massive companies like Samsung could easily set up several connections with political authorities in South Korea. According to the law in the country, prison sentences lasting longer than three years can not be suspended.