Prosecutors seek 12 years in jail for Samsung heir

08 August, 2017, 00:52 | Author: Marjorie Miles
  • Prosecutors seek 12 years' jail for Samsung heir

Samsung Electronics vice president and chairman of the group, Lee Jae-Yong, 48, is accused of offering 35 million euros to a company and several foundations founded by Choi Soon-sil, an old friend of President Park Geun-hye in order to finalize the deal related to the controversial merger of Samsung's two subsidiaries in 2015.

In his remarks wrapping up the trial, Special Prosecutor Park Young Soo said Samsung's alleged bribery was typical of the corrupt and cozy ties between the South Korea's government and big businesses.

In a wavering voice, Lee said, "I have never asked anyone, including the president, for anything for the company or my personal gain". The court's ruling is expected later in August and will affect the ongoing trials against the ex-president and her associate, the Yonhap news agency reported.

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The de facto leader of the Samsung business empire could face up to a dozen years behind bars if prosecutors get their way. He was arrested in February amid a tumultuous corruption scandal that triggered months of massive public protests and culminated with Park's ouster.

During Lee's absence, Samsung has released the Galaxy S8 smartphone to rebound from its Note 7 recall past year and posted a record profit on the back of its semiconductor sales.

The bribes were part of a move to win presidential favors and to secure government help in a merger that bolstered Lee's control over Samsung.

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Park Geun-hye went on trial in May.

Samsung's lawyers do not contest having donated a large sum of money to the entities controlled by Choi. The prosecution applied charges of concealment of criminal proceeds on the Samsung heir for making false reports on Chung's horse ownership and of perjury for making false testimony at a special National Assembly hearing in December, last year, on the Choi scandal by denying knowledge of the affair. They requested seven to 10-year terms for three other former Samsung executives.

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