Samsung heir absent from bribery retrial following father’s death

Samsung Electronics vice-chairman Lee Jae-yong was not in attendance for a scheduled court hearing Monday after the death of his father, Samsung chairman Lee Kun-hee, was announced yesterday. Yonhap reports that the conglomorate’s de facto leader and presumed heir had asked the Seoul High Court to permit him to attend the funeral.

Samsung has said that the wake will last four days with a family-only funeral taking place on Wednesday, according to The Korea Herald. Lee Kun-hee had been incapacitated by a 2014 heart attack, with his son Lee Jae-yong — known as Jay Y. Lee in the West — widely expected to take over.

The younger Lee, however, is facing the resumption of a bribery case that has dogged him over recent years. He was sentenced to five years in jail in 2017 for his role in the sweeping bribery scandal that brought down former South Korean president Park Geun-hye; he was then freed on appeal the next year with most of the charges dismissed. But the case was sent back to a lower court for retrial to take into account alleged bribes that hadn’t previously been ruled on.

The next hearing is planned to take place on November 9th, Yonhap reports.

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