Samsung chairman Lee Jae-yong is currently undergoing a retrial for accounting fraud, bribery, and stock manipulation charges. Due to his father’s death, Lee was absent from the retrial proceedings to attend the funeral of Lee Kun-hee. The prosecution is now demanding a prison sentence of up to nine years for Lee.
According to South Korean publication Yonhap News, prosecutors said that Lee deserves nine years in prison, given Samsung’s position and the severity of his wrongdoings. The prosecution also said that his imprisonment would also set an example in South Korea. The retrial related to the famous bribery scandal, which involved former South Korean President Park Geun-Hye’s close friend Choi Soon-Sil, began three months ago.
It is alleged that Lee bribed Choi Soon-Sil to force the merger of Cheil Industries and Samsung C&T so that he could take control of Samsung Group from his then-ailing father. The case first began a few years ago, and Lee was sentenced to five years in prison. However, his prison sentence was cut short to 2.5 years and he was soon released.
Since the retrial began a few months ago, Lee has been visiting Samsung factories and R&D centers all over the world, meeting top leaders of the company, and drawing up mega plans for the company to succeed in the future. He has also been stressing the importance of Samsung’s semiconductor and foundry businesses.