Friday, 24 March, 2017

Samsung ushers in policy changes following government bribery scandal

South Koreans light a candle during a rally against South Korean President Park Geun Hye on a main street in Seoul South Korea on March 1 Park 'accomplice' in alleged bribery, power abuse | Bangkok Post: news
Lance Thomas | 08 March, 2017, 00:30

Samsung Electronics Vice Chairman Lee Jae-yong, an heir apparent of the biggest family-controlled conglomerate, has been taken into custody as he is suspected of paying tens of millions of US dollars in bribes to Choi Soon-sil, Park's longtime confidante at the center of the scandal, in return for the national pension fund's support for the merger in 2015 of two Samsung affiliates.

Lee, 48, pledged 43 billion won ($37.19 million) in return for support from Park and Choi for a variety of steps including a merger of two Samsung affiliates in 2015 and the 2016 domestic listing of a loss-making drug maker Samsung Biologics Cfo Ltd, the special prosecutor said. Choi has denied taking any part in the merger, while Lee has testified that he didn't play a role in Samsung's decision to make $17 million in donations to Choi.

The Samsung group also denied the charge, saying, "Future court proceedings will reveal the truth".

A special prosecutor investigating a wide-ranging corruption scandal with South Korean President Park Geun-hye at its center said Monday that he would recommend five new charges be brought against her once the impeachment process concludes, according to media accounts.

The presidential powers of Park have been suspended since the beginning of her impeachment last December as cited by Reuters.

The independent counsel team, which launched its probe on December 21, ended its 90-day probe on February 28 as Prime Minister Hwang Kyo-ahn, who is serving as the acting president following Park's impeachment, rejected an extended investigation.

Pistons' Andre Drummond ejected for pushing Pelicans' Tim Frazier
The Pistons (29-32), looking exhausted after defeating Portland 120-113 in overtime on Tuesday night, missed 14 of 17 free throws. Holiday is shooting just 29.0 percent from the field over the past three games since the Pelicans acquired DeMarcus Cousins .

The court is widely expected to deliver its ruling by Monday before the retirement of its acting chief, Lee Jung-mi.

Should it uphold the impeachment, Park would become the country's first democratically elected president to be thrown out of office and spark an election in Asia's fourth-largest economy.

South Korean law does not allow a sitting president to be indicted unless she is accused of treason.

After completing its investigation into the scandal on a 70-day mandate last Tuesday, the special prosecution team transferred the results to state prosecutors for further investigation. Nor can Park be indicted while she still holds the presidency, although prosecutors have listed a total of 13 charges that they would like to press against her, including abuse of power and receiving bribes.

Chief Jay Y. Lee will go on trial for embezzlement and bribery on Thursday while in the middle of a corruption scandal that has made global headlines.

Based on the main charges levied against Lee, he could face more than 20 years in prison if convicted.

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