Samsung’s heir, Lee Jae-yong, is facing recommendations from South Korean prosecutors that he serve a jail term of twelve years.
According to a news report in the AP, the South Korean prosecutors called on the court to convict the Samsung Electronics heir of bribery and other crimes and to sentence him to more than a decade behind bars.
A panel of three judges are set to make their decision on August 25, reported AP, noting Lee Jae-yong became emotional during his final remarks in the four-month trial, saying he never looked to curry favors with lawmakers. He was arrested in February amid a corruption scandal in the country that resulted in the ouster of the president of South Korea.
During court proceedings on Monday (Aug. 7) Lee reportedly choked up, claiming the arrest was unjust but that he realized the larger Samsung becomes, “the stricter and higher the expectations from the public and the society. Whether it was for my personal profit or for myself, I have never asked the president for any favors,” he said in the remarks which wrapped up the trial.
While Lee denied any wrongdoing, Special Prosecutor Park Young Soo said the alleged bribery at the consumer electronics giant was normal behavior between the corrupt South Korean government and large businesses in the country. The report noted in the past, those relationships fueled a fast-paced industrialization of the country but is becoming seen as unfair and illegal.
In previous cases where bribery and corruption were involved, the courts usually suspended any prison time for the families of founders of big companies who play a huge role in the economy in South Korea but that has been changing. The report noted in recent cases the courts have shown less leniency. If Lee ends up being convicted, he will be the first of his family to serve time in prison, noted the report.