Samsung heir could face 12 years in jail for bribery

Samsung heir could face 12 years in jail for bribery

Prosecutors have alleged Lee knew about Park's confidante, Choi Soon-sil, and used that knowledge to plot a succession path that would ensure his control over Samsung without having to pay billions of dollars in inheritance taxes.

The court ruling is expected before August 27, when Lee's current period of detention ends.

"I have never asked the president for a favor for my private interest or for my own personal gain", he said, fighting back tears.

If South Korean prosecutors get there way, Samsung chief Jay Y Lee will be going to prison for a long time. The court is expected to rule on the case later this month.

The group has rejected investor demands to restructure into a holding company and an operating company. He's accused of playing a key role in an influence-peddling scandal that led to the ouster of former President Park Geun-hye.

Lee was arrested in February but has consistently denied the charges, saying the money was for the public good and to help foster sports. The prosecution applied charges of concealment of criminal proceeds on the Samsung heir for making false reports on Chung's horse ownership and of perjury for making false testimony at a special National Assembly hearing in December, last year, on the Choi scandal by denying knowledge of the affair.

In Lee's absence, Samsung Electronics reported record quarterly earnings in late July.

Park Geun-hye outside court in Seoul on Monday.

Lee allegedly offered $38m (£29m) in bribes to four entities controlled by Choi, to whom Park often turned for advice on policy, such as the security threat from North Korea.

The merger was opposed by many shareholders, but went through after the national pension fund - a major Samsung shareholder - approved it.

Lee has insisted he played no part in decisions concerning the wider Samsung group and "mostly listened to other executives".

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