Samsung heir Lee Jae-Yong has been embroiled in a long-running corruption scandal and accounting fraud case. He appeared in a court earlier this month for court proceedings and dodged an arrest. Later, it was decided that an outside committee will review the validity of the probe, and that is going to determined today.
South Korea’s top prosecution will convene a meeting today to determine Lee Jae-Yong’s role in the controversial merger of Cheil Industries and Samsung C&T as well as accounting fraud at Samsung BioLogics. A 15-member committee will meet at 10:30 AM at the Supreme Prosecutors Office in southern Seoul. The meeting is scheduled to wrap up by 5:50 PM, but it can take longer, depending on internal discussions.
The 15-member team consists of experts from various backgrounds, including academia, civic, cultural, and media industries. The team will listen to both sides, prosecutors and Samsung Group, and review the issue. Lee will not attend the meeting, though. Both sides are expected to submit written opinions measuring up to 50 pages in length before taking turns to provide presentations and answering questions from the panel.
The committee is aiming at a unanimous decision, but if opinions are divided, a majority decision will be accepted as well. Unless the committee is equally divided, a decision will not be taken. The decision to use an external committee was made on June 11 after a citizen’s panel felt that the issue needed to be looked at one more time. Lee had requested a public assessment of the investigation earlier this month.
The prosecution believes that the merger of Cheil Industries and Samsung C&T was designed to help Lee attain greater control of Samsung Group. Lee has already spent a year in prison and was released two years ago after the court suspended his prison sentence. Lee Jae-Yong is the grandson of Lee Byung-Chull, the founder of Samsung Group, and son of Lee Kun-Hee, chairman of Samsung Group, who has been incapacitated since 2014 after he suffered a heart attack.