The Seoul High Court on Friday said that it would take into account the efficacy of Samsung Electronics’ new internal compliance committee for its ruling on the tech giant’s heir Lee Jae-yong’s jail term.
Lee Jae-yong attended his fourth hearing on Friday.
Lee and his lawyers sought to minimize Samsung’s de facto leader in the Friday hearing, instead of focusing on proving Lee’s innocence. They conveyed Samsung’s resolution to comply with the court’s recommendation last year.
The high court declared it would designate third-party experts to scrutinize the implementation of the compliance committee rules and regulations at Samsung and its affiliates. The court will only consider successful results in deciding the length of jail time for Lee over the bribery case linked to former President Park Geun-hye.
The Seoul High Court will designate three experts to monitor the compliance unit’s operations created by Samsung strictly. Each of the three experts will come from the recommendation of the court, Samsung, and prosecutors.
The court also stated that it would recommend Kang Il-won, the lead justice in the impeachment case of former President Park, as a possible member of the panel. Kang is a judge of the Constitutional Court of Korea.
The court expects Lee and his lawyers to provide further details of the progress on the company’s reinforcement of its internal compliance system.
Initially, prosecutors tried to substantiate a suspected connection between the bribery charges and the conglomerate’s suspicious activities during the merger of Samsung C&T and Cheil Industries.
According to the prosecutors, they suspect that the merger benefited Lee, who holds the largest stake in Samsung C&T. They also suspect Lee received a merger ratio favorable to him through window-dressing of the bio unit Samsung Biologics.
Meanwhile, the Seoul High Court ruled out several of the evidence presented by the prosecutors, including the window-dressing of the bio unit in 2015.
Retrial judge Jeong Joon-young clarified that the court could refer to evidence related to the window-dressing case of Samsung Biologics. However, it does not have to examine such evidence in the current hearing., as the Supreme court did not include the succession issue to the retrial.
However, prosecutors requested the court to reconsider its decision, stating they cannot accept the court will take into account the compliance in the sentencing of the bribery case.
Additionally, prosecutors said that they would not cooperate with the designation of the three experts.
Lee Jae-yong’s retrial’s next hearing is scheduled on February 14.