Special Prosecutor Cho decides not to appeal court’s decision in Samsung case

Posted on : 2009-08-21 10:50 KST Modified on : 2019-10-19 20:29 KST
As court’s decision signals the end to transferring conglomerates’ management rights through illegal bond trading, questions linger regarding Samsung’s health
 former chairperson of Samsung Group
former chairperson of Samsung Group

Special Prosecutor Cho Joon-woong has decided not to appeal the Seoul High Court’s decision in the Samsung SDS retrial, which found former Samsung Group Chairman Lee Kun-hee guilty of issuing of bonds with warrant at below-market prices. Since it appears unlikely that the former Samsung Group chairman will appeal the court’s decision, observers are saying that judicial procedures concerning the illegal transfer of Samsung’s management rights have come to their conclusion.

“Since the accused individuals were found guilty by the High Court during the retrial, there is no reason to appeal,” Cho said Thursday. Regarding the fact that the court supported the sentence handed out in the previous trial, although they determined Lee was also guilty of breach of trust in addition to tax evasion and violation of the Securities and Exchange Act, Cho said, “Improper sentencing is not a reason for appealing the court’s decision.” He explained his perspective on the lack of gains in appealing by saying, “Although the judges misunderstood the facts by calculating the amount in the actual transaction value of the SDS stocks at 22.7 billion Won instead of 153.9 billion Won, an appeal would only signify a fight over the matter of improper sentencing.”

On Aug 14, the Seoul High Court found Lee guilty of issuing Samsung SDS bonds with warrants at lower-than-market prices during the retrial and maintained the sentence that Lee had been handed by the Seoul Central District Court of three years of imprisonment suspended for five years. Representatives of Samsung say that they were “still mulling over an appeal,” but observers are predicting that they will not file an appeal for sentence reduction because it does not include imprisonment.

If neither side submits an appeal by the Aug 21 deadline, the court’s decision will be confirmed and the one year and seven-month-old special prosecution team handling the Samsung case will be disbanded. The next step will be for Cho to hand over investigation records to the prosecutors’ office and submit a written report on the investigation and trial results to the National Assembly and President Lee Myung-bak.

Speaking on the matter of how the special prosecution team handled the investigation and the trial, Kim Sang-jo, head of Solidarity for Economic Reform said, “They were half successful because corporate executives can no longer engage in the practice trading at below-market prices as a way to transfer a wealth and management rights. ”Kim also added, “However, there are also many short-comings, as seen with the confirmed not-guilty verdict in the Everland case and the suspended sentence given to Lee Kun-hee in the retrial.”

Kim concluded, “The judicial determination on Samsung’s past problems is over, but I see difficulties in Samsung and Lee Jae-yong building a healthy management structure and recovering the public’s trust as just beginning.”

Please direct questions or comments to [englishhani@hani.co.kr]


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