Saturday, 19 August, 2017

Prosecutors Ask a 12 Year Sentence for Samsung Executive

Prosecutors seek 12 years' jail for Samsung heir Police raid office of Samsung family residences over suspected illicit payments
Lucas Bell | 08 August, 2017, 00:51

South Korean prosecutors recommended imprisoning the billionaire heir of the Samsung business empire for 12 years on Monday, urging a court to convict him of bribery and other crimes in a national corruption scandal.

Lee, 49, is accused of embezzlement, perjury and concealment of assets overseas.

"We have an opportunity to establish the rule of law", special prosecutor Park Young-soo said, according to Bloomberg.

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

After the prosecution's request for punishment and closing arguments, the court will decide on a date to hand down its verdict, which will likely come before August 27th.

A Samsung spokeswoman declined to comment, but referred to the company's statement in June that the expenses were paid by chairman Lee personally and receipts were issued. "I have never asked anyone, including the president, for anything for the company or my personal gain", he said.

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Taking the stand for the first time in his defense last week, Lee claimed that he had no role in decision-making at the wider Samsung group and "mostly listened to other executives".

Lee, the third-generation Samsung heir, was brought into custody on February 17 and was indicted 11 days later on five charges of bribery, embezzlement, perjury, hiding assets overseas and concealing the proceeds of criminal acts.

Police said Monday they raided a management office for central Seoul residences of Samsung Electronics Chairman Lee Kun-hee and his relatives over the suspected transfer of corporate money to their remodeling expenses.

In return, he secured government backing for the merger of two Samsung units in 2015.

The merger was opposed by many shareholders, but went through after the national pension fund - a major Samsung shareholder - approved it.

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