Prosecutors seek 12 years in jail for Samsung heir

Vice-chairman Lee Jae-yong once said ‘I do not like being the chairman of the Samsung Group for its negative image. I want to be called the chairman of Samsung Electronics.”

It's being reported today that prosecutors have demanded 12 years in prison for the Vice Chairman of Samsung Electronics Lee Jae-yong for allegedly bribing former President Park Geun-hye and her confidante Choi Soon-sil in the corruption scandal that brought down the previous administration.

Samsung Electronics investors have said their chief interest in the trial has been how long Lee will stay in detention, sidelined from fully participating in large-scale decision-making.

"Even though Lee is the ultimate receiver of the gains (from this bribery case), he has been pushing the blame on others accused", prosecutor Park Young-soo told the court.

The ousted president is also on trial over 18 charges.

Prosecutors are also seeking a 10-year sentence for three company executives and seven years for one other executive involved in the case.

The princeling of South Korea's richest family was charged with paying, or promising to pay, about 43.3 billion won (38.4 million USA dollars) in bribes to ousted President Park Geun-hye and her longtime confidante Choi Soon-sil, who was at the center of the influence-peddling scandal.

The verdicts are expected later this month.

Holding back tears, Lee denied the charges in his final statement to the court.

Police investigators reportedly searched for documents relating to the allegations that Samsung Group paid a house interior firm from accounts created under borrowed names without issuing tax receipts from October 2008 to March 2015.

Lee, 49, has effectively been at the helm of Samsung, which has revenues equivalent to about a fifth of the country's GDP, since his father Samsung chair Lee Kun-hee was left bedridden by a heart attack in 2014.

It is alleged he made a large donation in exchange for government support of a merger of two Samsung subsidiaries.

The merger was opposed by many shareholders, but went through after the national pension fund - a major Samsung shareholder - approved it.

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