Home Tags Posts tagged with "south korea corruption scandal"

south korea corruption scandal

Choi Soon-sil, an old friend of South Korea’s ex-President Park Geun-hye, has been sentenced to 20 years in jail for corruption, influence-peddling and abuse of power.

She was at the heart of a massive corruption scandal that brought down Park Geun-hye, South Korea’s first female president.

Choi Soon-sil had acted for years as an adviser to Park Geun-hye, who has been impeached and is also on trial.

Park Geun-hye has denied any wrongdoing.

The Seoul Central District Court also fined Choi Soon-sil 18 billion Korean won ($16.6 million).

Image source Wikimedia

Choi Soon-sil Scandal: Samsung VP Lee Jae-yong Questioned for Second Time as Suspect

Choi Soon-sil Trial Under Way in South Korea

Chung Yoo-ra: Choi Soon-sil’s Daughter Arrested in Denmark

Choi Soon-sil was accused of using her presidential connections to pressure conglomerates – including electronics giant Samsung and retail group Lotte – for millions of dollars in donations to two non-profit foundations she controlled.

She is already serving a three year jail term for a separate charge of corruption, after she was found guilty of using her position to solicit favors for her daughter.

Park Geun-hye meanwhile has been accused of colluding with Choi Soon-sil. She is currently in custody, with a verdict expected later this year.

The court has also found Shin Dong-bin, chairman of the Lotte Group, guilty of offering bribes to Choi Soon-sil, and jailed him for two years and six months.

President Park Geun-hye was officially ousted in March 2017, following parliament’s decision to impeach her. She was the country’s first democratically-elected president to be forced from office.

After losing her presidential immunity, Park Geun-hye was charged with bribery, abusing state power and leaking state secrets, and her trial began in May.

Samsung’s heir-apparent Lee Jae-yong has been sentenced to five years in prison for corruption.

He was accused of bribery in a scandal that also saw the impeachment of South Korea’s former president, Park Geun-hye.

The case has gripped the public amid growing anger against South Korea’s biggest companies, known as chaebols.

Lee Jae-yong, who denied all charges, had faced a jail sentence of up to 12 years.

The 49-year-old, also known as Jay Y. Lee, the de facto head of Samsung, the world’s largest smartphone maker, had been detained since February on a string of corruption charges.

These included including bribery, embezzlement and hiding assets overseas.

Image source Reuters

Lee Jae-yong Goes on Trial for Bribery

Lee Jae-yong Goes on Trial over Embezzlement and Perjury Charges

Samsung VP Lee Jae-yong Arrested on Bribery Charges

Lee Jae-yong was accused of giving donations worth 41 billion won ($36 million) to non-profit foundations operated by Choi Soon-sil, a friend of South Korea’s former President Park Geun-hye, in return for political favors.

Prosecutors said the donations were made to Park Geun-hye’s confidante to win government support for a big restructuring of Samsung that would strengthen Lee Jae-yong’s control over Samsung Electronics.

A lawyer for Lee Jae-yonghas said already said they will appeal against the decision.

“We are confident the ruling will be overturned,” lawyer Song Wu-cheol told reporters after the ruling, according to Reuters.

Nevertheless this ruling represents a huge blow to South Korea’s biggest and most well-known business empire. Since the verdict, Samsung shares fell by 1%.

Lee Jae-yong’s conviction raises questions about his leadership of the conglomerate. He has been standing in as chairman since his father, Lee Kun-hee, suffered a heart attack in 2014.

The Samsung scandal contributed to President Park Geun-hye’s eventual impeachment. Park Geun-hye’s friend, Choi Soon-sil, has already been jailed for three years for corruption.


Choi Soon-sil, a close friend of South Korea’s former President Park Geun-hye, has been jailed for three years for corruption.

Her conviction for soliciting favors for her daughter is the first in a wide-reaching influence-peddling scandal which brought down President Park Geun-hye.

Choi Soon-sil had acted for years as an adviser to President Park Geun-hye, who has been impeached and is also on trial.

She also faces charges that she accepted bribes for Park Geun-hye.

Park Geun-hye has denied all allegations of corruption.

Choi Soon-sil was found guilty of using her position to influence officials at a university to admit her daughter, Chung Yoo-ra, as well as give her daughter grades for papers or exams she never took.

Image source Getty Images

According to the Yonhap news agency, the court stated in its verdict that “she committed too much wrongdoing to consider the actions were out of love as a mother who wants the best for her child”.

Two former officials at the prestigious Ewha Womans University in Seoul have also been jailed for colluding with Choi Soon-sil.

Choi Soon-sil still faces other charges including abuse of authority, coercion, attempted coercion and attempted fraud.

Prosecutors say Chung Yoo-ra, a 21-year-old award-winning dressage rider, was involved in economic crimes, exam fraud, obstructing business and concealing criminal proceeds.

She has denied all these accusations and said she had no knowledge of her mother’s dealings, including those with Park Geun-hye.

Chung Yoo-ra was arrested in Denmark earlier this year and extradited to South Korea.

She is currently not in detention in Seoul. On June 20, a local court said there was no need to detain her and refused the prosecution’s request for an arrest warrant.

Choi Soon-sil is on trial accused of using her presidential connections to pressure companies to give millions of dollars in donations to two non-profit foundations she controlled.

In exchange, it is alleged they received preferential treatment from the government.

Park Geun-hye is alleged to have been personally involved, instructing Choi Soon-sil and two presidential aides to collect money for the launch of the foundations.

The claims have swept up some of South Korea’s biggest companies, including electronics giant Samsung.

Samsung VP Lee Jae-yong is on trial. Several other Samsung executives and former presidential aides are also either facing trial or are under investigation.

Choi Soon-sil is also accused of having received confidential government documents from Park Geun-hye.

Park Geun-hye was arrested in April and preliminary hearings began in May.

The former leader has previously admitted to some lapses, such as consulting Choi Soon-sil for advice and letting her edit presidential speeches, and has apologized for them.


Samsung VP Lee Jae-yong has gone on trial in South Korea for his alleged role in a corruption scandal that led to the ousting of President Park Geun-hye.

Lee Jae-yong denies charges of embezzlement and perjury.

Prosecutors say Lee Jae-yong gave 43 billion Korean won ($38 million) to President Park Guen-hye’s friend, Choi Soon-sil, for political favors.

Park Geun-hye is suspected of colluding with Choi Soon-sil to get conglomerates to donate to Choi’s foundations.

The ousted president was arrested last week, after being impeached, and sent to a detention centre, although she has not yet been formally charged.

Image source Reuters

Lee Jae-yong, who appeared in court in handcuffs, has denied the bribery allegations, saying Samsung was coerced into handing over the funds.

Another four Samsung executives have also appeared in court in connection with the scandal. They also deny the accusations.

Lee Jae-yong’s case is “one of the most deep-rooted and typical cases involving unhealthy relations between politicians and businessmen,” said Special Prosecutor Park Young-Soo in his opening statement in Seoul’s Central District Court.

The 48-year-old vice-chairman of Samsung Electronics has been the parent company Samsung Group’s de facto head since his father Lee Kun-hee suffered a heart attack in 2014.

On April 7, the chairman of the powerful Lotte conglomerate, Shin Dong-bin, was also being questioned by prosecutors in connection with the widening corruption probe.

They are investigating whether donations given by Lotte to foundations allegedly controlled by Choi Soon-sil were bribes connected to the firm’s bid for a lucrative duty-free business.


South Korean animal rights groups have accused impeached President Park Geun-hye of abandoning her dogs when she left the presidential palace.

The row comes as Park Geun-hye was called for questioning and named as a suspect in the wide-ranging corruption scandal that eventually led to her downfall.

The ousted leader was dismissed from her post last week when the constitutional court upheld her impeachment.

South Korea will hold its presidential election on May 9.

Park Geun-hye is South Korea’s first democratically elected leader to be ousted.

Over the weekend she left the presidential palace, known as the Cheong Wa Dae, and moved into her house in an affluent district of Seoul.

Park Geun-hye’s nine Jindo dogs were not among the entourage that accompanied her.

The Busan Korea Alliance for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Busan KAPCA) noted the impeached president could have violated animal protection laws by leaving the dogs behind.

Image source BarkPost

The group, along with the Coexistence of Animal Rights on Earth (CARE), claimed Park Geun-hye had abandoned her pets, and both organizations offered to find new homes for the dogs.

A Cheong Wa Dae spokesman denied Park Geun-hye had abandoned her dogs, and told Reuters that they were left at the palace partly because it would not be good for them to be uprooted from their home.

“She told… staff to take good care of the dogs and to find good foster homes for the puppies if necessary,” said the spokesman.

Park Geun-hye was known to be fond of her pets, which had been dubbed the country’s “First Dogs,” the Korea Times reported.

When Park Geun-hye was inaugurated as president in 2013, she moved into Cheong Wa Dae with a pair of Jindo dogs which were given to her as a present.

The pair later produced several puppies, some of whom she kept while others were adopted. Jindo dogs are known for their loyalty and devotion.

South Korea has been run by PM Hwang Kyo-ahn since parliament voted to impeach Park Geun-hye in December.

The date for the next presidential election was set at a cabinet meeting on March 15.

At that meeting, Hwang Kyo-ahn said he would not run in the election, dealing a blow to conservatives looking for viable candidates, reported Yonhap news agency.

Park Geun-hye has also been summoned by prosecutors for questioning on March 21 over her alleged involvement in the corruption scandal surrounding presidential aide Choi Soon-sil.

She is accused of colluding with Choi Soon-sil in extorting large amounts of money and favors from conglomerates.

Park Geun-hye has denied all accusations and refused previous requests to take part in investigations.


Samsung VP Lee Jae-yong has been questioned for a second time as a suspect in South Korea’s biggest political corruption scandal.

Prosecutors are expected to decide based on the hearing whether they will seek an arrest warrant for Lee Jae-yong.

Samsung is accused of giving donations to non-profit foundations run by a confidante of President Park Geun-hye in exchange for political favors.

Lee Jae-yong told reports before the hearing: “I will once again tell the truth.”

He had already been questioned with several other company executives in January but a subsequent court ruling decided there were insufficient grounds for an arrest.

Image source Wikimedia

Yet during the past weeks investigators reviewed the case and decided there were new aspects that required further questioning.

The claims against Samsung revolve around a merger between the electronics giant’s construction arm, Samsung C&T, and an affiliate company, Cheil Industries.

The prosecution alleges that Samsung gave 2.8 million euros ($3.1 million) to a company co-owned by President Park Geun-hye’s confidante Choi Soon-sil and her daughter, in return for political support for the deal.

The scandal led to President Park Geun-hye being impeached in December 2016.

Lee Jae-yong, also known as Jay Y. Lee, first gave evidence in front of a parliamentary hearing in December 2016. Since January he has been treated as an official suspect in the case.

At the parliamentary hearing, Samsung admitted giving a total of 20.4 billion won ($17.46 million) to the two foundations, but denied seeking favors in return.

Lee Jae-yong also confirmed Samsung gave a horse and money to help the equestrian career of Choi Soon-sil’s daughter, Chung Yoo-ra, something he said he now regretted.

Choi Soon-sil is on trial for charges including corruption and coercion.