South Korea’s Prosecutor’s Office on Monday sought a 12-year prison sentence for the vice chair of the Samsung Group over charges that include bribing the former President as part of a massive corruption scandal that has rocked the country.
The prosecution’s petition was filed during the last session of the trial of Lee Jae-yong — the eldest child and only son of Samsung’s Chairman — that began early March in Seoul’s Central District Court, Efe news reported.
The prosecution also sought 10-year prison sentences for three other Samsung senior executives, Yonhap news agency reported.
Lee, 49, the “de facto” chief and heir of one of Asia’s largest conglomerates, is accused of transferring 43 billion won ($37.3 million) to foundations that were controlled by Choi Soon-sil, dubbed the ‘South Korean Rasputin’ for her close friendship with then President Park Geun-hye.
The payments were allegedly made to secure approval from a public pension fund in 2015 for the merger of two Samsung subsidiaries (one of which was part of the same fund) that reinforced total control of the Lee clan on the company.
Lee, who took over the control of the Samsung group in 2014 after his father, Lee Kun-hee, was left incapacitated following a heart attack, also faces charges of embezzlement and concealment of foreign assets and has been detained since mid-February.
The verdict in the case is expected to be made public by the end of this month.