Samsung vice chairman denies bribery allegation

Samsung vice chairman denies bribery allegation


Samsung Electronics Vice Chairman Lee Jae-yong on Tuesday denied bribery allegations over last year’s controversial merger of two subsidiaries of the group which is South Korea’s largest family-run conglomerate.
“The merger of two companies has nothing to do with the transfer (of management control) for me and any other,” Xinhua news agency quoted Lee as telling lawmakers during a parliamentary hearing for the corruption scandal involving President Park Geun-hye and her longtime confidante.

Lee and other chiefs of the country’s major conglomerates attended the hearing on allegations that they decided to donate tens of millions of US dollars to two non-profit foundations controlled by Choi Soon-sil who has been charged with abuse of power and extortion.

Samsung Group is suspected of making donations to the foundations and bribing Choi in return for support from the national pension fund in last year’s controversial merger of Samsung C&T and Cheil Industries to create a de-facto holding company of the group.

Lee said Samsung’s donation was not made in a bid to receive any business favour or support, noting that Park just asked for the donation to flourish culture and develop sports during his meeting with her.

In July last year, Park held an open meeting with major conglomerate heads and met separately one-by-one with some of the chiefs.

Lee admitted that he had met privately with Park twice in July last year and in February this year.

The merger was extremely crucial to Lee to inherit management control of the biggest family-run conglomerate from his father Chairman Lee Kun-hee who has been hospitalised for over two and a half years.

Samsung’s founding family has been criticised for controlling overall group subsidiaries with a handful of equities through the complicated web of cross-shareholdings.


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Samsung vice chairman denies bribery allegation | NORTH INDIA KALEIDOSCOPE

Rajesh Ahuja

I am a veteran journalist based in Chandigarh India.I joined the profession in June 1982 and worked as a Staff Reporter with the National Herald at Delhi till June 1986. I joined The Hindu at Delhi in 1986 as a Staff Reporter and was promoted as Special Correspondent in 1993 and transferred to Chandigarh. I left The Hindu in September 2012 and launched my own newspaper ventures including this news portal and a weekly newspaper NORTH INDIA KALEIDOSCOPE (currently temporarily suspended).