Samsung heir faces 9 years in prison over bribery case

Lee Jae-young, vice chairman of global tech giant Samsung Electronics, is facing a nine-year prison term in the bribery case. That also involved involving former President Park Geun-hye, the media reported.

During a final hearing on Wednesday, prosecutors demanded a nine-year prison term for Lee, reports the Korea Herald.

The court has designated January 18 next year as the date for a final ruling.

“Samsung is a group with such overwhelming power that it is said that Korean companies are divided into Samsung and non-Samsung,” prosecutors were quoted as saying during the final hearing.

“For the sound development of our society, Samsung’s position is to show a firm attitude in corruption and set an example.”

Prosecutors also demand seven-year jail terms for two other former Samsung executives, Jang Choong-ki and Park Sang-jin.

In his final statement, Lee said, “I stood here with a regretful heart”.

“I want to make a new Samsung that is appropriate to the dignity of the country and be a good son to my respectable father,” he added.

His father Lee Kun-hee, Samsung Electronics chairman and chief of South Korea’s top conglomerate Samsung Group, died on October 25 at age 78, more than six years after being hospitalised for a heart attack.

The de facto leader of the country’s top conglomerate was initially sentenced to five years in jail in 2017 for bribing a longtime friend of former President Park as he sought the government’s help in succeeding his father and securing control of Samsung Group.

He was freed a year later after the appeals court reduced the term to 2 1/2 years, suspended for four years, dismissing most of the bribery charges against him.