Bixby, why is Samsung's heir apparent facing 12 years in the slammer?

Prosecutors seek 12 years' jail for Samsung heir

The 49-year-old Samsung heir has been in detention since February and was indicted on charges that include bribery and embezzlement.

"Even though Lee is the ultimate beneficiary, he has been pushing the blame on others [who have been] accused", Park, the prosecutor, told the court.

Prosecutors have alleged Lee knew about Park's confidante, Choi Soon-sil, and used that knowledge to plot a succession path that would ensure his control over Samsung without having to pay billions of dollars in inheritance taxes.

Prosecutors are also seeking a 10-year sentence for three company executives and seven years for one other executive involved in the case. The court's ruling is expected later in August and will affect the ongoing trials against the ex-president and her associate, the Yonhap news agency reported.

Lee is viewed as the de facto head of Samsung after his father and Samsung Group patriarch Lee Kun-hee was incapacitated after suffering a heart attack in 2014.

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Samsung did not comment.

The heir to the Samsung business empire fought back tears in court today as he denied bribery allegations that could have him jailed for 12 years. Lee and others denied the charges, reiterating that the funds were to support horse-riding prospects with no intentions of providing special favors to Chung and that the contributions to the foundations and the sports elite center were unconditional donation.

In return, he secured government backing for the merger of two Samsung units in 2015. "I have never asked anyone, including the president, for anything for the company or my personal gain", he said.

The charges could entail at least five years in prison if Lee is convicted. Prosecutors allege the money was paid to a company in Germany to bankroll equestrian training for the daughter of a friend of then-President Park Geun-hye. Police officials raided the office that oversaw interior decorating of the elder Lee's private house in central Seoul.

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