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Jailed Samsung Chief In Spotlight During Shareholder Meeting

Imprisoned Samsung chief Lee Jae-yong was the focus of the South Korean tech giant’s shareholder meeting, with questions raised about the de facto leader’s fate.

With Jae-yong unable to attend the meeting as he languished behind bars, shareholders protested the fact Samsung had maintained the eldest son of late chairman Lee Kun-hee as the vice chairman and leader of the company.

During a tense question-and-answer session, multiple shareholders asked about Jae-yong’s fate, The Korea Herald reports.

Jae-yong as convicted of a bribery charge concerning South Korea’s former president Park Guen-hye and was sentenced to two-and-a-half years behind bars in January.

Under Korea’s economic crime act, businesspeople who are convicted of a crime are banned from working for their former company for a period of five years.

In response to the questions, Samsung Vice Chairman Kim Ki-nam said: “The company will consider Vice Chairman Lee Jae-yong’s role in maintaining the global network and determining future businesses, and also accurately review current affairs and legal issues.”

Earlier this week, Jae-yong, was again facing the South Korean courts after the Seoul Central Court held a second session to set a preliminary date for the trial of 12 Samsung executives, including the imprisoned Samsung Electronics vice chairman.

In September prosecutors indicted Jae-yong and the other Samsung officials on charges of violating the capital market laws, accusing them of planning the merger of Samsung C&T and Cheil Industries in a way that would have made it easier for Jae-yong to gain control of the company.

Samsung denied all details of the indictment at the first session in October, arguing that the merger was part of ordinary business activities that were conducted legally.

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