Jay Y. Lee faces nine years in prison in the bribery case that contributed to the downfall of former President Park Geun Hee. Jai Yi Lee is the Vice President of Samsung Electronics.
This bribery case is separate from another trial in which Lee was implicated, over alleged accounting fraud and stock price manipulation. Hearings on this case began in October.
Prosecutors have argued that the length of the sentence is justified due to Samsung’s power as the largest family conglomerate, in South Korea.
“The Samsung Group has so much power in South Korea that the Korean companies are said to be divided into Samsung and non-Samsung,” they said during a final hearing on Wednesday, according to the Korea Herald reports. It is decided on January 18 to issue the final judgment.
Prosecutors allege that the bribes were aimed at securing government support for Lee’s attempt to inherit control of Samsung from his father, Lee Kun-hee, its board chairman at the time.
The corruption scandal that led to Park’s dismissal, was a large part of illegal payments and led to his arrest and a 25-year prison sentence.
The bribery case dates back to 2017, when Lee was found guilty of bribing Park and her close partner Choi Sun-sil and sentenced to five years in prison.
Lee was released in 2018 after the sentence was reduced and suspended on appeal, and he returned to work as de facto president of Samsung, a position he took after his father had a heart attack in 2014.
In August 2019, the Supreme Court overturned the appeals court, ruling that it was too lenient, and ordered a retrial of the case in Seoul High Court.
Lee the Elder, said to have been the richest citizen of South Korea, passed away in October.
According to Fortune Magazine, his fortune at the time was estimated at $ 20.7 billion and subject to the country’s tax system, and his heirs may be liable for around $ 10 billion in real estate taxes.