Lee Jae-yong: Samsung heir faces fresh charges over 2015 merger

Samsung's heir Lee Jae-yon.

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Samsung heir Lee Jae-yong faces new charges of stock and accounting fraud for his role in a merger deal.

South Korean prosecutors indicted Lee on Tuesday, accusing him of criminal attempts to gain control of the Samsung group in 2015.

In 2017, Lee, 52, was found guilty on charges including corruption in connection with the deal, but his five-year prison sentence was suspended.

He is not likely to be held in custody while he awaits trial with the new charges.

The prosecution, however, ignored a recommendation from a citizen’s panel that Lee should not be charged.

Lee confronted prosecutors in 2017 in a case referring to an alleged role in a political and trade scandal that rocked South Korea, including the resignation and sentencing of former President Park Geun-hye.

He was convicted on charges including bribery, embezzlement, concealment of assets overseas and perjury, and a court sent him to prison for five years.

But six months later that sentence was cut in half and the Seoul High Court decided to suspend the prison sentence, meaning he was free to leave.

In the 2017 case, Samsung was accused of paying 43 billion won ($ 35.7 million; £ 28.1 million) to two non-profit foundations run by Choi Soon-sil, a friend of Ms Park. , in exchange for political support.

More specifically, the favors were assumed to include support for a controversial Samsung merger that paved the way for Lee to become the head of the conglomerate, a deal that needed backing from the government-run national pension fund of South Korea.

Lee denied the allegations. He admitted making donations, but said Samsung didn’t want anything in return.

Also known as Jay Y Lee, he is the son of Lee Kun-hee, president of the Samsung Group, South Korea’s largest conglomerate. He is also the grandson of Samsung founder Lee Byung-chul.

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