20 February 2018
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  • » 02/06/2018, 09.35


    After 353 days in prison, the appeals court releases Samsung's heir

    Acquitted of several charges. According to the judge, he was passively involved in the patronage for favours scandal. The "main perpetrator" is former President Park, who abused her power.

    Seoul (AsiaNews / Agencies) - Lee Jae-yong, Samsung vice-president and heir, was released yesterday after the Court of Appeals overturned a previous ruling that found him guilty of corruption. Lee had ended up in the dock during the scandal that led to the ouster of the then South Korean president, Park Geun-hye.

    Four executive members of the technology giant, including Choi Gee-sung and Jang Choong-ki, were also released with him.

    Judge Cheong Hyung-sik reduced his original five-year sentence to two and a half years, suspending another four years. This means that Samsung's heir will not have to serve other periods of imprisonment unless he is responsible for other crimes.

    Lee remained in prison for 353 days for "offering" 43.3 billion won (about 32 million euros) to Park and her friend and adviser Choi Soon-sil in exchange for political favors to consolidate their control over the Samsung group, while his father, director Lee Kun-hee, suffered deteriorating health.

    Overturning the lower court ruling, the new ruling states that Lee did not seek illicit favors to advance his own interests as a group leader for economic reasons, and that the brand under his direction had no reason to ask particular favors from the then President.

    The court recognized only the 3.6 billion won he paid to support Choi's daughter Chung Yoo-ra as a bribe. Chung is a former equestrian competitor who stayed in Germany. This sum had cost Lee the charge of hiding money abroad - a charge from which yesterday he was acquitted, since there is no evidence that these funds had been used for personal purposes.

    According to the judges, Park and Choi were guilty of extortion, while Lee limited himself to passively executing their requests. "The main culprit in this patronage scandal is Park, who has been negligent in her duties and has abused the power she was invested with by the Constitution and the people, and has allowed a private individual like Choi to benefit from it."

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    See also

    19/01/2017 10:51:00 SOUTH KOREA
    Samsung: Court rejects arrest warrant for deputy chief Lee Jae-yong

    He was accused of corruption, embezzlement and perjury and involved in the scandal that has engulfed the President Park. According to the judges the reasons are not sufficient to approve the request for provisional arrest.


    16/01/2017 13:48:00 SOUTH KOREA
    Samsung’s vice chairman Lee Jae-yong arrested in connection with President Park’s scandal

    He is accused of paying bribes to Choi Soon-sil worth more than US$ 36 million US. Prosecutors allege that the group also financed a Choi-owned sports company to the tune of US$ 18.3 million.

    17/02/2017 11:08:00 SOUTH KOREA
    Samsung Boss arrested over links to President Park scandal

    In January, he had escaped arrest for lack of evidence. Samsung has donated the most money ($ 70 million) to the Choi Soon-sil foundations, the friend who has dragged Park to impeachment. Candidates in new presidential elections react.


    23/06/2017 10:36:00 SOUTH KOREA
    Choi Soon-sil condemned for favouring daughter. She was a friend of Park in the corruption scandal

    Three years in prison for asking college favors for her daughter. This is the first conviction for Choi, the confidant and friend of the former president. Now she will still have to answer allegations of corruption and undue influences in the huge scandal involving Samsung's management.


    31/03/2017 10:06:00 SOUTH KOREA
    Former President Park arrested for corruption

    The decision by the Seoul Court after nine hours of hearing. Park is accused of corruption, abuse of authority and revelation of state secrets. She denies any wrongdoing. She is the third president to be imprisoned and risks a sentence of 10 years.

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