14:44 GMT29 January 2020
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    South Korean prosecution demanded Monday that Samsung Electronics Vice Chairman Lee Jae-yong be sentenced to 12 years in prison over his involvement in a large-scale corruption scandal around former President Park Geun-hye and her associate Choi Soon-sil, local media reported.

    TOKYO (Sputnik) — Lee has been detained since February for, among other charges, giving Choi $38 million in exchange for helping him secure control of the Samsung Group. The court's ruling is expected later in August and will affect the ongoing trials against the ex-president and her associate, the Yonhap news agency reported.

    According to the prosecution, Choi ensured government approval for deals of major companies. One such deal was a merger between Samsung’s two subsidiaries, Cheil Industries Inc. and Samsung C&T Corporation, which was expected to strengthen Lee's position within the Samsung Group. Lee became heir to the tech giant after his father and Samsung Group chairman Lee Kun-hee withdrew from business after suffering from a heart attack in 2014.

    The scandal involving Park and Choi broke out in late October 2016. The prosecution suspects Park of being involved in 13 different cases of bribery, coercion and abuse of power. Park has been charged with forcing major corporations, including Samsung, to donate to foundations controlled by Choi, taking bribes, and forcing companies to sign contracts beneficial for Choi and her associates. The row resulted in Park’s impeachment in December 2016, a decision which was confirmed by the country's Constitutional Court on March 10.

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    Tags:
    trial, sentence, prosecution, Samsung, Lee Jae-yong, South Korea
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