Samsung chairperson resigns after indictmentApril 22nd, 2008 - 12:54 pm ICT by admin
Seoul, April 22 (DPA) Samsung Group chairperson Lee Kun Hee Tuesday announced his resignation, less than a week after he was indicted for tax invasion and breach of trust. Lee, 66, apologised for the distress that the three-month investigation of South Korea’s largest conglomerate had caused and took full responsibility, “both legally and morally”, for the scandal.
“I pledged to make Samsung as a top-class company about 20 years ago, but I’m really sorry for not living up to the promise,” Lee said at a nationally televised news conference.
At the same time, Samsung announced a reform plan that includes dissolving its strategic planning office, which coordinates group operations and is considered the conglomerate’s power centre.
Special prosecutors finished their inquiry into bribery charges against the company by indicting Lee last Thursday while also saying they were unable to prove allegations that Samsung had used multimillion-dollar slush funds to bribe public officials.
Lee, who was among 10 top Samsung executives indicted, was accused of using nearly 1,200 accounts established under other people’s names to carry out profitable stock transactions and avoid 113 billion won ($114.3 million) in taxes.
The breach of trust charge stemmed from accusations that Lee played an important role in the illegal transfer of power at Samsung to his only son, Lee Jae Yong.
He faces five years in prison and a fine if convicted.
Lee Kun Hee and the other indicted Samsung executives were not jailed ahead of their trials because prosecutors said such arrests would cause “enormous disruptions” in the running of Samsung.
The conglomerate includes Samsung Electronics Co, the world’s largest maker of liquid crystal displays and second-largest chipmaker. It is also involved in shipbuilding, construction, financial services and the chemical industry and produces a fifth of the exports from South Korea, the world’s 13th-largest economy.
Lee Kun Hee took over the leadership of Samsung in 1987 from his father, the company’s founder.
He had trouble with the law previously when he was convicted in 1996 for bribing two former presidents. He received a suspended prison term and was granted a presidential pardon in 1997.
- Ex-Samsung boss back in office after scandal - Mar 24, 2010
- Former Samsung chairman pardoned to boost Olympic bid - Dec 29, 2009
- Former Samsung chief found guilty over bond deal - Aug 14, 2009
- Former Samsung boss sentenced for tax evasion - Jul 16, 2008
- South Korea to pardon 2,500 convicts - Aug 13, 2010
- Indian American contractor pleads guilty in naval kickback scam - Apr 29, 2011
- Ex-Goldman Sachs director Gupta arrested, charged in insider trading case - Oct 26, 2011
- Rajat Gupta indicted in insider trading case - Oct 26, 2011
- Italian prime minister cleared in tax evasion case - Oct 18, 2011
- From Seoul with love - customised tablet for PM - Mar 26, 2012
- Purported 'Samsung heiress' busted with 230kg dope in luggage indicted on drug charges - Jun 22, 2010
- Indian American fundraiser for jailed governor arrested - Jun 21, 2012
- India-South Korea economic ties booming: ambassador - Nov 11, 2010
- Judge dismisses Berlusconi tax-evasion case - Jun 28, 2012
- Nominee for South Korean premier withdraws after graft accusations - Aug 29, 2010
Tags: apologised, breach of trust, bribery charges, conglomerate, disruptions, group chairperson, group operations, illegal transfer, lee jae, lee kun hee, liquid crystal displays, multimillion dollar, samsung electronics, samsung electronics co, samsung group, shipbuilding, slush funds, south korea, stock transactions, strategic planning office