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12-year jail for Samsung heir sought over bribery

12-year jail for Samsung heir sought over bribery

While prosecutors sought a 12-year jail term for Samsung Electronics Vice Chairman Jay Y. Lee on Monday, the de-facto leader of the electronics giant insisted that he did nothing wrong.

Samsung heir Lee Jae-Yong is escorted by prison guards as he arrives at the Seoul Central District Court in Seoul.

In the last hearing before sentencing, prosecutors announced the hefty sentence, and said that Lee and his lieutenants, who were also convicted, lied throughout the trial.

"The defendants were closely tied to power and sought personal gains", the prosecutors said.

The independent counsel had indicted Lee in February on charges of providing or promising some 43.3 billion won ($38 million) to ousted President Park Geun-hye's friend Choi Soon-sil, reports Yonhap News Agency.

After the prosecution's request for punishment and closing arguments, the court will decide on a date to hand down its verdict, which will likely come before August 27th.

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

Lee, 49, has effectively been at the helm of Samsung, which has revenues equivalent to about a fifth of the country's GDP, since his father Samsung chair Lee Kun-hee was left bedridden by a heart attack in 2014.

Holding back tears, Lee denied the charges in his final statement to the court.

He also claimed to have had no role in wider decision-making at Samsung and "mostly listened to other executives".

Separately, South Korean police officials confirmed on Monday that they are investigating Lee's father, who is ill in the hospital, on allegations of embezzlement and a tax-law violation.


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