By Haejin Choi
SEOUL (Reuters) – A South Korean appeals court said on Friday it found the chairman of Lotte Group guilty of charges including bribery and breach of trust, but suspended his jail term, setting him free.
A lower court had sentenced Shin Dong-bin in February to two years and six months in prison for his role in an influence-peddling scandal that roiled the country and led to the ouster of former South Korean President Park Geun-hye.
Shin appealed and the Seoul High Court on Friday upheld his conviction, but suspended the jail sentence for four years, freeing him after more than seven months in detention.
Shin was convicted for providing 7 billion won ($6.20 million) to two foundations controlled by the former president’s close friend in return for favors to win a duty free license.