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South Korean Prosecutors are Demanding a 12 year Prison Term for Samsung Chairman Lee Jae-yong



It's being reported today that prosecutors have demanded 12 years in prison for the Vice Chairman of Samsung Electronics Lee Jae-yong for allegedly bribing former President Park Geun-hye and her confidante Choi Soon-sil in the corruption scandal that brought down the previous administration. Such a verdict could be devastating to Samsung.


After 53 hearings where 59 witnesses testified in the trial of Samsung Group's de facto leader Lee Jae-yong, a special prosecutors' team requested on Monday a 12-year jail term for the heir on bribery and embezzlement charges.


Special prosecutor Park Young-soo's independent counsel team, formed specially to investigate a massive corruption scandal that led to the country's first ever impeached president, demanded the jail sentence at Lee's final trial held at the Seoul Central District Court.


Special prosecutor Park said the scandal is a typical corruption case involving politics and business, and that it greatly damaged the nation's economic democracy and constitutional values.


The Samsung heir allegedly gave or planned to give a total of 38-million U.S. dollars to former President Park Geun-hye and her longtime confidante Choi Soon-sil in various forms, including donations to Choi's organizations and a sponsorship of the equestrian training of Choi's daughter.


The independent counsel believes the money was in exchange for Park's support and to secure the vote of the state-run National Pension Service, a major stakeholder in Samsung C&T... in favor of merging with another branch of Samsung Group, Cheil Industries.


The strategy helped Lee became the largest shareholder of the newly merged entity, which in turn holds a controlling stake in the group's most important business, Samsung Electronics. Besides bribery and embezzlement, Lee is also charged with diverting assets overseas, concealing the gains from a criminal act and committing perjury.


The special prosecutors' team also demanded jail terms between 7 to 10 years for four other Samsung executives and officials.


The final verdict is to be delivered on August 25th, and the ruling is likely to have a critical impact on the ongoing trials of former President Park and her confidante Choi.


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