Prosecutors on Wednesday has asked a court in Seoul for a nine year sentence against Samsung Electronics vice chairman Lee Jae-yong in his corruption trial.
It is Lee’s third trial on allegations that he bribed former South Korea President Park Geun-hye to gain government support for a merger between to Samsung subsidiaries.
The first district court case saw Lee jailed back in 2017. He was freed on the appellate court from a suspended sentence in 2018. However, the Supreme Court has returned to the case to the appellate court back in 2019 for another trial, saying some evidences were neglected.
Prosecutors at the Seoul High Court claimed the amount of briber Lee allegedly paid is higher when considering all the evidence. They have argued in court that there can’t be a suspended sentence.
They said a 9 year sentence was not excessive under law and they weren’t trying to ignore Lee’s contribution to South Korean society.
Lee’s lawyers stressed that the paying of bribes were passive and claimed Samsung was forced to pay them from pressure of the then administration.
Near the end of the trial, the vice chairman said it promised to make a transparent and ethical company. He also repeated his statement made earlier this year that he would not pass on managerial rights to his children.
Lee also cried while mentioning his father and Samsung chairman Lee Kun-hee, who passed away earlier this year, saying he wanted to be a good son to his father. He also said other executives who were also defendants in the trial spent their life for the company and asked the court not to admonish them to harshly.
The verdict for the trial is expected in January.
The court has previously asked Samsung and Lee to form a law abiding committee within the company to prevent future obstructions. Samsung had complied and the court had said it will take into account in his verdict.