Prosecutors are seeking a 12-year jail sentence for Samsung Electronics vice chairman Lee Jae-yong, who is charged with playing a role in a bribery scandal involving Park Geun-hye, the former president of South Korea.
Four other Samsung executives are also charged, with prosecutors seeking sentences between seven and 10 years for each. However, Lee is credited as the “ultimate beneficiary” of the crime, hence the longer sentence.
Court ruling coming soon
Lee — the heir apparent to the Samsung Group and only son of Samsung’s incapacitated chairman — was arrested at the start of this year. He has been in prison since February, although he continues to deny wrongdoing.
The Samsung boss is accused of offering tens of millions of dollars in exchange for gaining support from a national pension fund in the 2015 merger of two Samsung affiliates. The arrangement was crucial for allowing Kun-hee to inherit overall management control of the Samsung Group.
The 12-year jail sentence he faces is just over half the 20-year maximum sentence he was initially reported as facing. If he is indicted and given a 12-year sentence, he will be 61 years old when he gets out of prison. A court ruling is expected August 25.