(4) post scriptum news (Cheil Industries and Samsung C&T merger)BBC News, 28 December 2016
South Korea pension fund head arrested in scandal probe
South Korea's pension fund head has been arrested in a probe into alleged corruption involving electronic firm Samsung and the country's president.
Special prosecutors said they raided National Pension Service (NPS) chairman Moon Hyung-pyo's home on Monday, before arresting him on Wednesday.
The NPS is the world's third-largest pension scheme.
It comes amid President Park Geun-hye's impeachment over the scandal involving her longstanding mentor Choi Soon-sil.
In the latest arrest, investigators are looking into NPS's support of an $8bn (£6.5bn) merger between two Samsung Group affiliates and whether Mr Moon used his influence as health minister at the time, to pressure it to back the deal.
The Ministry of Health and Welfare runs the pension service, which manages 545 trillion won ($451bn; £367bn) and was a major shareholder in Cheil Industries Inc and Samsung C&T Corp when they merged.
The NPS has denied previous reports that Mr Moon pressured the organisation to back the deal, and Mr Moon told reporters on Tuesday that he would cooperate with the investigation.
The scandal has also caught Samsung up in allegations that it backed foundations controlled by Choi Soon-sil in the hope of receiving political favours, which investigators are also examining.
Politicians voted on 9 December to impeach President Park - a decision South Korea's constitutional court has six months to uphold or overturn. Until then she remains formally president but stripped of her powers, which are handed to the prime minister, a presidential appointee.
Ms Park denies wrongdoing but has apologised for the way she managed her relationship with Ms Choi, who also denies committing criminal offences.
BBC News, 9 June 2020
Samsung: Court rejects Lee Jae-yong arrest warrant request
A court has denied an arrest warrant request for Samsung heir Lee Jae-yong, after he was accused of accounting fraud and stock manipulation.
The ruling provides at least temporary relief for the de facto head of the South Korean conglomerate.
But Mr Lee isn't completely in the clear yet as prosecutors said they will continue with their investigation.
The case relates to his alleged role in a 2017 political and business scandal that rocked South Korea.
Last week state prosecutors asked the court to issue an arrest warrant against Mr Lee related to their probe into accounting fraud and the controversial merger of two Samsung businesses, Samsung C&T and Cheil Industries, in 2015.
Prosecutors said the deal helped his plan to take greater control of the group.
On Friday Samsung denied the allegation of stock-manipulation against Mr Lee, saying it was "beyond common sense" to claim he was involved in the decision-making.
In another statement over the weekend, the group said the lengthy probe is weighing on management, which is in "crisis" at a time when the coronavirus pandemic and US-China trade war are adding to uncertainty.
Three top executives, including a vice president, have already been given prison sentences for hiding or destroying evidence in the probe.
Who is Lee Jae-yong?
The 51-year-old, also known as Jay Y Lee, is the son of Lee Kun-hee, chairman of Samsung Group, South Korea's largest conglomerate. He is also the grandson of Samsung founder Lee Byung-chul.
With a degree from South Korea's top university and an MBA from one of Japan's most prestigious universities, he has been groomed to take over the family firm.
He became a Samsung president in 2009 and in 2013 was made vice-chairman of Samsung Electronics, the division which makes devices including smartphones, televisions, cameras and hard drives.
Since Mr Lee's father suffered a heart attack in 2014, he has been considered the de facto boss of the entire Samsung group of businesses.
According to Forbes magazine, the divorced father-of-two has a net worth of around $6.6bn (£5.2bn).
What is the case about?
In February 2017, Lee Jae-yong was arrested and then charged over his alleged role in a political and corporate scandal linked to South Korea's then president, Park Geun-hye.
Charges against Mr Lee included bribery, embezzlement, hiding assets overseas and perjury.
Samsung was accused of paying 43bn won ($35.7m; £28.1m) to two non-profit foundations operated by Choi Soon-sil, a friend of Ms Park, in exchange for political support.
More specifically, the favours were alleged to include backing for a controversial Samsung merger which paved the way for Mr Lee to become the head of the conglomerate, a deal that needed support from South Korea's government-run national pension fund.
Mr Lee denied the charges. He admitted making donations but said Samsung did not want anything in return.
In August 2017 a court convicted him of the charges and sent him to prison for five years.
Six months later that sentence was halved, and the Seoul High Court decided to suspend the jail term, meaning he was free to go.
BBC News, 18 January 2021
Lee Jae Yong: Samsung heir gets prison term for bribery scandal
Samsung heir Lee Jae Yong has been sentenced to two years and six months in prison by a high court in South Korea.
The bribery case is a retrial of an earlier one involving the country's former President Park Geun-hye, who was also jailed for bribery and corruption.
Lee has been the de facto head of Samsung Electronics since 2014.
The ruling is likely to have ramifications for the future of his role at the tech giant.
News of the sentence sent Samsung electronics shares more than 4% lower before they began to claw back some ground.
Lee's jail term will at least temporarily side-line him from decision making at the conglomerate.
Experts say the sentence could create a leadership vacuum and hamper Samsung's decision-making on future large-scale investments.
"It's really a huge blow and a big crisis for Samsung," Kim Dae-jong, a business professor at Sejong University, told news agency AFP.
Lee assumed leadership of the company when his father Lee Kun-hee was hospitalised following a heart attack in 2014.
The elder Lee died last year, leading to speculation that there would be a shake-up at Samsung as his heirs could be forced into asset sales or dividend payments to cover a massive inheritance tax bill.
'Repeatedly involved in crimes'
According to the court's verdict, Lee "actively provided bribes and implicitly asked the president to use her power to help his smooth succession" at the head of Samsung.
"It is very unfortunate that Samsung, the country's top company and proud global innovator, is repeatedly involved in crimes whenever there is a change in political power."
The court found Lee guilty of bribery, embezzlement and concealment of criminal proceeds worth about 8.6 billion won ($7.8m; £5.75m), and said the independent compliance committee Samsung set up early last year has yet to become fully effective.
Lee's defence team expressed disappointment with the decision.
"The nature of this case is the former president's abuse of power violating corporate freedom and property rights. Given that nature, the court's decision is regrettable," Lee's lawyer, Lee In-jae, told reporters.
Lee has already served time in detention which is expected to count toward the sentence - leaving 18 months to be served.
Second court battle
Lee faced legal troubles even as he stood on the cusp of becoming the leader of the global tech giant.
He was first arrested in February 2017 over his alleged role in a political and corporate scandal linked to South Korea's then-president, Park Geun-hye.
Samsung was accused of paying 43bn won ($37.7m; £26.7m) to two non-profit foundations operated by Choi Soon-sil, a friend of Park's, in exchange for political support - alleged to include backing for a controversial Samsung merger which paved the way for Lee to become eventual head of the conglomerate. The deal needed support from the government-run national pension fund.
Charges against Lee included bribery, embezzlement, hiding assets overseas and perjury - all of which he denied, saying Samsung did not want anything in return.
But in August 2017 a court convicted him of the charges and sent him to prison for five years.
In February 2018, that sentence was halved, and the Seoul High Court decided to suspend the jail term, meaning he was free to go.
The Supreme Court then sent the case back to the Seoul High Court, which issued Monday's ruling.