Prosecutors Seek To Imprison Samsung Heir for 12 Years

Police raid office of Samsung family residences over suspected illicit payments

Park, who was impeached a year ago, and Choi are also in jail and on trial. "I have never asked anyone, including the president, for anything for the company or my personal gain", he said.

Lee Jae-yong, 49, the vice-chairman of Samsung Electronics, made an emotional address to a courtroom in Seoul hours after the police raided a management office linked to his father, the company chairman Lee Kun-hee.

The special prosecution team is expected to seek harsh punishment on Lee, claiming that he played a key part in the massive corruption scandal which led to the ouster of the former president.

Special prosecutor Park said the scandal is a typical corruption case involving politics and business, and that it greatly damaged the nation's economic democracy and constitutional values.

Lee, the third-generation Samsung heir, was brought into custody on February 17 and was indicted 11 days later on five charges of bribery, embezzlement, perjury, hiding assets overseas and concealing the proceeds of criminal acts.




Police investigators reportedly searched for documents relating to the allegations that Samsung Group paid a house interior firm from accounts created under borrowed names without issuing tax receipts from October 2008 to March 2015. In return, the president exercised influence over government entities for favoritism towards the group including backing of Samsung C&T and Cheil Industries that helped to cement younger Lee's legitimate grip over the conglomerate.

During Lee's absence, Samsung has released the Galaxy S8 smartphone to rebound from its Note 7 recall past year and posted a record profit on the back of its semiconductor sales.

Park Geun-hye outside court in Seoul on Monday.

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

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