Prosecutors in the Samsung corruption case have demanded a 12-year sentence for its former vice-president and de facto CEO of the South Korean company at the time, Jay Y. Lee, who has been charged with bribery and embezzlement.
Close ties to politics
The ball in the Samsung case started rolling several months ago and Lee has been in custody since February, suspected of bribing the South Korean former president Park Geun-hye. He apparently slushed 43 billion won (35.3 million euro) to organizations owned by Choi Soon-sil, a confidante of the former president and the centerpiece of the entire case. In exchange, he received several favours, both politically and business-wise.
The court is expected to reach a decision on 27 August, when Lee’s temporary custody expires. He is not the only one targeted by the court case, because four other former Samsung board members have been charged. Even other Korean companies are part of the entire court case.
Several major South Korean family-owned businesses have had strong ties with the political elite for quite some time, making it very hard for several smaller companies to break through. The local population is increasingly worried about these ties as well.