​Prosecutors seek 12-year sentence for Samsung boss in bribery trial

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Special prosecutors are seeking a 12-year sentence for Samsung’s heir apparent Lee Jae-yong for his alleged involvement in the South Korean bribery scandal involving the former president.

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.

Samsung allegedly paid Choi Soon-shil, a close friend of former president Park Geun-hye, over $30 million in bribes disguised as funding for foundations and for Choi’s daughter’s equestrian career.

Park, who was impeached last year, and Choi are also in jail and on trial.

Special prosecutors have argued that the vice chairman of Samsung Electronics either knew about the deal or orchestrated it to gain government support for a controversial merger that increased his control over the conglomerate.

Lee was arrested in February but has consistently denied the charges, saying the money was for the public good and to help foster sports.

His arrest caused Samsung to delay its annual executive reshuffle from December last year to May.

Prosecutors are also seeking a 10-year sentence for three company executives and seven years for one other executive involved in the case.

The vice chairman has been the de facto head of Samsung Electronics since his father, Lee Kun-hee, was hospitalized after a heart attack in 2014.

The younger Lee is the first Samsung boss to be jailed over bribery.

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