Saturday, October 31, 2020

Bribery retrial of Samsung’s heir Lee Jay-Yong to start this week

-

The review of an appeals court verdict in Samsung scion Lee Jae-yong’s bribery case involving impeached former President Park Geun-hye will start Friday.

Lee spent a year behind bars for providing billions of won in bribes to ex-President Park and her confidante Choi Soon-sil. He was freed on a suspended sentence in February last year, after the appeals court concluded there was insufficient evidence to show the money was bribes, aimed at securing Cheong Wa Dae’s support for Lee taking over the top position at Samsung.

However, the Supreme Court overturned the decision Aug. 29 and ordered the appeals court to review the case. In its ruling, it said 3.4 billion won ($2.8 million) that Samsung used to buy three race horses for Choi’s daughter could be considered a bribe. It also said the lower court was wrong not to view the money Samsung gave to the equestrian activities and sports foundations that Choi controlled as bribes. The appeals court at the time said there was no “explicitly detailed agreement” between the parties regarding “traded favors.”

The Supreme Court ruling opens the possibility of the Samsung heir being put behind bars again. Unless there is new evidence in Lee’s favor, the new appeal judges reviewing Lee’s case at Seoul High Court must adopt the Supreme Court’s stance and interpretation of the given facts in reaching its verdict.

- Advertisement -

A suspended sentence is unlikely because the extra bribes recognized by the Supreme Court raise the sum from 3.6 billion to 8.6 billion won. By law, those who pay a bribe of 5 billion won or more must be jailed for at least five years.

Judge Jung Joon-young of Seoul High Court will hold the first hearing on Lee and four other Samsung executives Friday morning. Lee’s lawyers will likely argue the money given by Samsung was the result of extortion by President Park and her allies rather than a willing contribution in return for favors.

Lee has been de-facto head of the global smartphone and chip manufacturer since his father, Samsung group Chairman Lee Kun-hee, fell ill in 2014. To help the junior Lee inherit management control, shady bookkeeping and controversial mergers took place between subsidiaries to shake up the shareholding structure within the group. Samsung accounts for a fifth of the country’s exports.

President Park and Choi’s cases, are also being reviewed over procedural faults in lower court rulings.

- Advertisement -

In a separate bribery case also involving ex-President Park last week, the Supreme Court upheld a lower court decision to hand a suspended sentence to Lotte Group Chairman Shin Dong-bin, identifying him as a “passive actor” somewhat pressured into the arrangement by Park.?

The recent rulings sum up the political upheaval the country has been going through since the mass candlelit protests of fall 2016. The widespread condemnation of collusion and the influence-peddling scandal between Cheong Wa Dae and chaebol ousted conservative leader Park and ushered in a government that vowed to rein in the powerful conglomerates.

MUST READ

Actress Lori Loughlin begins 2-month prison sentence for role in college admissions scam

Actress Lori Loughlin reported to a federal prison in Northern California on Friday to start a two-month sentence for her role in a massive...

FirstEnergy fires CEO, other executives over Ohio bribery scandal

FirstEnergy Corp. has fired its CEO amid multiple federal investigations related to an Ohio nuclear bailout law passed year. The Akron-based utility company announced in a...

Ukraine’s court strips critical power from anti-corruption agency

Ukraine's Constitutional Court has stripped the country’s anti-corruption agency of some of its critical powers. The high court’s ruling published on October 28 declared it...

Former South Korean President Lee Myung-bak sent back to prison for 17 years in corruption case

Former South Korean president Lee Myung-bak was ordered back to prison on Thursday (Oct 29) as the country's Supreme Court upheld a 17-year jail...

Nigerian court declines to issue international arrest warrant for fugitive ex-Petroleum Minister in corruption case

The Abuja Division of the Federal High Court, on Wednesday, refused an application by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, for an arrest...

Subscribe For More

Get our daily notification on the latest financial crimes news around the World

Advertisement
Advertisement

Latest News

This Week

Swiss court upholds money-laundering conviction of ex-Ukrainian lawmaker Martynenko

A Swiss court has upheld the conviction of former Ukrainian lawmaker Mykola Martynenko for laundering via Swiss banks millions of dollars worth of kickbacks...

Former Jacksonville City Council members set for sentencing in fraud case

Former Jacksonville City Council members Katrina Brown and Reggie Brown are scheduled to be in federal court Tuesday to begin a hearing on their...

Ukraine’s court strips critical power from anti-corruption agency

Ukraine's Constitutional Court has stripped the country’s anti-corruption agency of some of its critical powers. The high court’s ruling published on October 28 declared it...

Philippines’ President Duterte orders corruption probe across government agencies

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte said on Tuesday he had ordered the justice ministry to launch a sweeping investigation into graft across all government agencies,...
Advertisement

Adblock Detected!

Our website is made possible by displaying online advertisements to our visitors. Please consider supporting us by whitelisting our website.

Enable Notifications    Ok No thanks