Major events in Samsung leader Lee Jae-yong's bribery case

Lee was convicted of bribing an associate of former president Park Geun-hye and jailed for five years in 2017. PHOTO: AFP

SEOUL (REUTERS) - The Seoul High Court on Monday (Jan 18) sentenced Samsung Electronics vice-chairman Lee Jae-yong to 2½ years in prison for bribery.

Lee was convicted of bribing an associate of former president Park Geun-hye and jailed for five years in 2017. He was freed on appeal after serving one year, but the Supreme Court ordered a retrial by the High Court.

The following is a timeline of events in the case against Lee.


Oct 24: Allegations of wrongdoing by former president Park Geun-hye involving a personal confidant, Choi Seo-won, better known by her former name Choi Soon-sil, is reported by a local cable channel.

Nov 13: South Korean prosecutors question Lee Jae-yong in a probe over the growing political scandal involving Park.

Dec 9: South Korea's Parliament votes to impeach Park over the influence-peddling scandal.

Dec 21: A team led by a special prosecutor launches a formal criminal investigation.


Feb 17: Lee is arrested over his alleged role in the scandal and paying bribes to organisations controlled by Choi to secure support for a merger of two Samsung affiliates that was designed to cement his control of the Samsung Group.

Feb 28: Samsung Group dismantles its corporate strategy office amid accusations that Lee worked with the office to bribe Park and her confidante Choi.

Feb 28: South Korean prosecutors indict 17 people including Lee over the scandal.

Mar 10: South Korea's Constitutional Court affirms parliament's impeachment of Park and removes her from office.

Mar 31: Park is arrested on charges including bribery and abuse of presidential power.

Aug 25: The Seoul Central District Court sentences Lee to five years in prison for bribery, hiding assets abroad and embezzlement.


Feb 5: Lee is released from jail after an appeals court cut his sentence to 2½ years and suspended the sentence for four years. Lee's attorney says he will appeal to the Supreme Court to try to overturn the conviction.


Aug 29: South Korea's Supreme Court sends Lee's case back to the appellate Seoul High Court for review, saying its interpretation of what constituted bribes was too narrow.

Oct 25: The first hearing in Lee's bribery retrial is held.


Jan 9: Samsung Group sets up an anti-corruption panel headed by a former supreme court judge to improve compliance and prevent violation of governance rules.

May 6: Lee makes a public apology over controversies in Samsung's succession plans and says he will not hand over management rights to his children.

Dec 30: Prosecutors seek a nine-year jail term for Lee.


Jan 14: South Korea's Supreme court upholds a 20-year jail sentence for former president Park on graft charges.

Jan 18: The Seoul High Court sentences Lee to 2½ years in prison.

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