The de facto leader of the huge Samsung business empire is getting out of jail sooner than expected.
Lee Jae-yong, a 49-year-old billionaire, was found guilty of bribery and other corruption charges in August and sentenced to five years in prison. But a higher court on Monday cut the sentence to two and a half years and suspended it for four years.
Dubbed the “trial of the century,” Lee’s case gripped South Korea for months. It was part of a huge influence-peddling scandal that brought down the government of former President Park Geun-hye.
Lee, the son of Samsung’s ailing chairman, has been in jail for nearly a year. He left the court shortly after the verdict was read, climbing into a bus that was waiting outside.
The high-profile business leader, who’s also known as Jay Y. Lee, had pleaded not guilty to all charges at his trial. …