Sunday, 20 August, 2017

South Korea seeks 12-year jail term for Samsung's Lee

Vice-chairman Lee Jae-yong once said ‘I do not like being the chairman of the Samsung Group for its negative image. I want to be called the chairman of Samsung Electronics.” Police raid office of Samsung family residences over suspected illicit payments
June Sullivan | 08 August, 2017, 00:49

The move came hours before prosecutors demanded a 12-year jail term for Lee's son and Samsung Electronics Vice Chairman, Jay Y. Lee, over bribery and other charges. 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.

The ousted president is also on trial over 18 charges.

In addition to the 12 years requested for the businessman, the prosecution led by Park Young-soo, asked for seven to 10 years in prison for four other executives of Samsung.

"The defendants were closely tied to power and sought personal gains", the prosecutors were quoted by AFP as saying.

The princeling of South Korea's richest family was charged with paying, or promising to pay, about 43.3 billion won (38.4 million USA dollars) in bribes to ousted President Park Geun-hye and her longtime confidante Choi Soon-sil, who was at the center of the influence-peddling scandal.

The court is expected to reach a decision on 27 August, when Lee's temporary custody expires.

The vice chairman has been the de facto head of Samsung Electronics since his father, Lee Kun-hee, was hospitalized after a heart attack in 2014.

Lee became emotional Monday as he denied ever trying to seek political favors in his final remarks in the four-month-long trial.

Choi, the former president's confidante, was sentenced to three years in prison in June. They disagreed with the prosecutors about the nature of the funds and insisted that at the time the donations were made Samsung was unaware that Choi controlled them.

South Korean police officials confirmed Monday that they are investigating Lee's father on allegations of embezzlement and a tax law violation.

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