Samsung boss Lee faces 12 years behind bars

Bill Rogers
August 8, 2017

Prosecutors in the Samsung corruption case have demanded a 12-year sentence for its former vice-president and de facto CEO of the South Korean company at the time, Jay Y. Lee, who has been charged with bribery and embezzlement.

Samsung heir Lee Jae-Yong is escorted by prison guards as he arrives at the Seoul Central District Court in Seoul. Powerful South Korean families have a history of avoiding jail time even after major scandals, and Lee's ultimate fate is hard to call.

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.

They sought a 12-year sentence for Lee, and terms ranging from seven to 10 years for three of his co-accused.

Lee was indicted in February on charges that included offering $38 million in bribes to four entities controlled by a friend of then-President Park Geun-hye, including a company in Germany set up to support equestrian training for the daughter of one of Park's friends, Choi Soon-sil.

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

Holding back tears, Lee denied the charges in his final statement to the court.

Lee, 49, is accused of paying tens of billions of dollars in bribes to ensure a smooth power succession as his father, Samsung Chairman Lee Kun-hee, has been hospitalized since a heart attack more than three years ago.

In the hearing, prosecutors will present their demands for Lee's punishment, while the lawyers and their defendants will give their closing arguments. "I have never asked anyone, including the president, for anything for the company or my personal gain", he said.

Semiconductors and display continue to provide Samsung's strongest growth. But it eventually went through after the national pension fund - a major Samsung shareholder - approved it.

Other reports by TheSundaySentinel

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