Top court orders retrial for CJ head on corruption charges

September 10, 2015
Lee Jay-hyun, chairman of the CJ Group (Yonhap)

Lee Jay-hyun, chairman of the CJ Group (Yonhap)

SEOUL, Sept 10 (Yonhap) — The nation’s top court Thursday returned to a lower court ruling that convicted the chairman of food and entertainment conglomerate CJ Group of corporate crimes.

Lee Jay-hyun, who was indicted in 2013 on suspicions of misappropriating some 160 billion won (US$130 million) in company assets to offshore slush funds and dodging taxes in the process, was sentenced to three years in jail and fined 25.2 billion won by the Seoul High Court.

While upholding the lower court’s ruling on the embezzlement and tax evasion charges, the Supreme Court had a different decision on Lee’s breach of trust charges.

The original ruling applied aggravated charges for Lee overlooking wrongdoings, causing more than 30 billion won in losses to the company.

The Supreme Court said he should not be judged with the aggravated charges as the amount of loss caused by Lee’s breach of trust cannot be calculated specifically.

As the Supreme Court has accepted Lee’s multiple requests to suspend imprisonment for hospital treatment, he will stand trial again without physical detention.

Lee, who has undergone a kidney transplant, claims that he suffers from multiple illnesses such as Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and kidney disease.

Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease is an inherited neurological disease characterized by the slow, progressive degeneration of the muscles in the feet, lower legs and hands.