Lee Jae-yong, the country’s third richest person, is to hear his fate in a scandal that has rocked the political and business worlds

Until a few months ago, Lee Jae-yong was well on the way to securing his status as South Korea’s most powerful business leader.

But on Friday, the heir to the Samsung empire could be starting a lengthy prison sentence for his alleged role in a bribery and corruption scandal that has already triggered the impeachment of the country’s former president, Park Geun-hye.

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