Electronics

Prosecutors seek 12 year prison term for Vice-Chairman of Samsung

Prosecutors seek 12 year prison term for Vice-Chairman of Samsung

Lee is accused of bribing former president Park Geun-hye, a scandal which led to the ousting of the South Korean leader, and also faces charges of embezzlement and perjury.

Lee, 49, has effectively been at helm of the vast Samsung group, the world's biggest smartphone maker and a sprawling business empire, since his father suffered a heart attack in 2014.

Prosecutors called him the "ultimate beneficiary" of crimes that were committed in the scandal. Prosecutors asked the court to imprison Lee's mentor Choi Gee Sung, a former vice chairman at Samsung Electronics, for 10 years. "The defendants have colluded with power to seek personal interests, turning their backs on people's wish to shed light on the truth behind the scandal".

The Samsung heir allegedly gave or planned to give a total of 38-million US dollars to former President Park Geun-hye and her longtime confidante Choi Soon-sil in various forms, including donations to Choi's organizations and a sponsorship of the equestrian training of Choi's daughter.

The court is expected to announce its verdict on August 25.

Lee became emotional Monday as he denied ever trying to seek political favors in his final remarks in the four-month-long trial.

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

The police are investigating claims that corporate money was transferred to pay for interior decorations in the elder Lee's private home and they are expected to question company officials soon.

Semiconductors and display continue to provide Samsung's strongest growth. 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. But it eventually went through after the national pension fund - a major Samsung shareholder - approved it.