Samsung Group Vice-Chairman and leader Lee Jae-yong was convicted of illegal use of anaesthesia and fined 70 million won or around $60,000 by a court in Seoul. The embattled chairman is also facing another trial for stock-price manipulation and fraud related to the $8 billion merger of two Samsung firms in 2015 and has recently gotten out on parole after being convicted in a bribery case which is related to the graft charges that brought down ex-South Korean president Park Geun-hye.
Jae-yong confessed to having used propofol, a sedative, for recreational purposes in a Seoul plastic surgery clinic. The court said that although this was usually considered a minor crime, the defendant had admitted to it and bore greater responsibility for his actions as he was a public persona with a lot of influence. He was also ordered forfeit 17 million won in assets.
Usage is normally seen as a minor offence in South Korea although both provider and user of drugs are charged in cases. Prosecutors originally proposed fining him 50 million won under a summary indictment, a procedure where less serious cases do not go to court.