Prosecutors seek 12-year prison term for convicted Samsung heir

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During a Wednesday appeal, South Korean prosecutors demanded a 12-year prison term for Samsung’s heir, Lee Jae-yong, who was convicted of bribery and other charges in August.

The bribery scandal ravaged the South Korean political system, as the nation’s former president, Park Geun-hye, was indicted on charges earlier this year and given a five-year jail sentence.

As the 49-year-old heir to Samsung, Lee had reportedly bribed Park with the expectation of political favors in return. When Park was indicted, South Korean politics were upended and Lee found himself on trial and eventually convicted.

The court ruled that Lee bribed Park to help secure control of a conglomerate that owns Samsung Electronics. Lee was also found guilty of hiding assets abroad, embezzlement and perjury.

A lower court sentenced Lee to five years in prison for offering bribes, which both Lee and prosecutors appealed. Prosecutors appealed because the sentence was too short, as they had reportedly requested a 12-year prison term.

On Wednesday, during Lee’s appeal hearing, prosecutors said they still want Lee to serve the 12-year prison term, according to South Korea’s Yonhap News Agency. The news site stated the Seoul High Court will issue a ruling on Lee Feb. 5.

After the high court rules, its decision may be appealed again by Lee or prosecutors, moving his case up the chain to South Korea’s Supreme Court, which will make the final ruling.

Lee repeated a denial of the charges throughout the appeal proceeding, Fox News reports, noting that he served as the vice chairman of Samsung Electronics, which is the world’s largest maker of smartphones, television sets and microchips.

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