Jailed Samsung heir pressured to resign from board

Todd Singleton
August 29, 2017

The lawyer filed the appeal at Seoul Central District Court, which in addition to the bribery charge also found Lee guilty of embezzlement, sheltering assets overseas, concealing profit from criminal acts and perjury.

During the trial, Lee said he had little involvement in Samsung's day-to-day affairs and was often unaware of details of the business.

Plus, Samsung's defense is likely to argue against the lower court's interpretation that giving financial support to Park's confidant Choi Soon-sil is "effectively the same as Park herself receiving it", the lawyers said. "Given that the coerced funds for the Mir and K-Sports foundations were the main reason the court made a decision to expel former President Park back in March, the burden on the Special Prosecutor in mounting a case for the appeals trial and on the prosecution [in charge of Park's indictment] has greatly increased", said one former Chief Prosecutor.

Five year jail has been awarded to Lee and South Korean President Moon Jae In welcomed the move and called it a step towards eradicating corruption.

A hasty attempt to trade Chung's horse for another to hide the paper trail when the scandal unraveled in autumn a year ago was ruled as aiding Choi's attempts to conceal criminal proceeds.

A court in South Korea awarded the Samsung Chief five years of imprisonment for offering bribes to the South Korean President.

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"We hope this will be the first step in cutting the stubborn ties of corruption between politics and business, which has been a roadblock to progress in our society", said Yoon Young-chan, senior secretary at the Blue House, the South Korean president's executive office and residence.

Samsung Electronics Vice Chairman Kwon Oh-hyun delivered an official statement to staff on August 28 on the latest verdict on the firm's heir-apparent Lee Jae-yong, urging workers to continue giving best efforts.

For the time being, Samsung Electronics is seeking to continue operating like it did so far and is even striving to go through with major mergers and acquisitions that would have otherwise been handled by Mr. Lee.

Ms. Park and Ms. Choi have both denied wrongdoing and are facing charges in a separate trial.

"As a legal professional, I can not possibly accept any part of the lower court's guilty verdicts", said Song Wu-cheol, lead defense attorney, who added, "I am confident that the appeals court will definitely find the defendants not guilty on all counts". Last year, the American hedge fund demanded Samsung Electronics' conversion into a holding company and listing on NASDAQ along with a special dividend worth 30 trillion won. Lee was found not guilty on this charge, however. Two other former executives received suspended prison terms. Some were pardoned and others got sentences reduced on appeal.

Other reports by Free-Prsite

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