By Seun Adeuyi
A high court in South Korea has sentenceed Samsung heir Lee Jae Yong to two years and six months in prison.
The bribery case is a retrial of an earlier one involving the country’s ex-President Park Geun-hye, who was also jailed for bribery and corruption.
Lee has been the de facto head of Samsung Electronics since 2014.
The court’s verdict is likely to have ramifications for the future of his role at the tech giant.
Samsung electronics shares were sent more than 4% lower, following news of the sentence, before they began to claw back some ground.
His jail term will at least temporarily side-line him from decision making at the conglomerate.
AFP quoted Kim Dae-jong, a business professor at Sejong University, to have said, “It’s really a huge blow and a big crisis for Samsung.”
Lee assumed leadership of the company after his father Lee Kun-hee was hospitalised following a heart attack in 2014.
Lee’s father died last year, leading to speculation that there would be a shake-up at Samsung as his heirs could be forced into asset sales or dividend payments to cover a massive inheritance tax bill.