South Korean special prosecutors on Wednesday re-pursued a 12-year jail term for Samsung Electronics Co. Vice Chairman Jay Y. Lee in an appeals trial over a corruption case that delivered a five-year sentence to the heir of the country’s largest conglomerate in the first ruling in August.
Park Young-soo, the special counsel, argued for heavier punishment for Lee to end the poor traditions of illicit management succession in family-run chaebol establishment and collusive ties between politics and business.
Lee, 49, has been behind bars since February and was slapped with five years in prison in the lower court in August on five charges including bribery that ousted and imprisoned former President Park Geun-hye who is also accused of power abuse by sharing her elected presidential authority with her private friend Choi Soon-sil.
At 1:25 p.m. shares of Samsung Electronics were up 2.7 percent at 2,534,000 won.
In the same appeals trial, the special counsel team sought 10 years for former head of Samsung Corporate Strategy Office Choi Gee-sung, former Presidents Chang Choong-ki and Park Sang-jin, and seven years for former executive vice president Hwang Sung-soo.
In his final statement, vice chairman Lee pleaded for mercy for other Samsung officials, claiming he should take on the entire onus to cease the irregular ties with the politics.
He also said he won’t succeed to chairmanship and that his bedridden father Lee Kun-hee will be the last in the Lee family to bear the title of Samsung Group chairman.
The Seoul High Court will deliver its ruling on February 5. The case is mostly likely to head to the Supreme Court.
By Chae Jong-won and Lee Eun-joo
[ⓒ Pulse by Maeil Business Newspaper & mk.co.kr, All rights reserved]