Samsung heir may end up in jail for 12 years

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Samsung’s heir apparent Lee Jae-yong was arrested earlier this year on allegations of corruption. The country’s corruption scandal has already led to the ouster of former President Park Geun-hye. Lee Jae-yong’s arrest came after his indictment on corruption and embezzlement charges.

Lee Jae-yong is the only son of the ailing Samsung chairman Lee Kun-hee and is the heir apparent to the conglomerate. A merger between the conglomerate’s two affiliates – Cheil Industries and Samsung C&T – was widely seen as a crucial step for his ascension to the pivotal leadership role.

It’s alleged that bribes were paid to the ousted president through a close confidant in order to win the government’s backing for the merger.

The prosecution has now asked a court in Seoul to sentence the Samsung scion to 12 years in jail on charges of bribery in connection with the corruption scandal.

Special Counsel Park Youg-soo said at the final hearing held at the Seoul Central District Court that Lee Jae-Yong, currently the vice chairman of Samsung Electronics, was a direct beneficiary and final decision maker in the bribery scandal.

“Samsung Group voluntarily offered funds rather than gave in to former President Park’s threats, expecting to get help in the firm’s leadership transfer, after it received a request from Park,” Young-soo said, adding that it was a classic case of “crony capitalism.”

The court will hand down its ruling on the matter on August 25.

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