Updated August. 29, 2014 03:50
Seven people with the extended family of Samsung Group owners on Thursday submitted a petition to court, urging lenience for Lee Jae-hyun, chairman of CJ Group who was jailed due to the charges of tax evasion worth 160 billion won (158 million US dollars) and embezzlement. They include Hong Ra-hee, the wife of Samsung Electronics Chairman Lee Kun-hee and director of Leeum Samsung Museum; her first son Jae-yong, vice chairman of Samsung Electronics; Lee In-hee, advisor to Hansol Group; and Lee Myung-hee, chairwoman of Shinsegae.
According to sources in the judicial community, they submitted a total of six petitions (Hong and her son Lee Jae-yong submitted a petition co-signed by them) to Criminal Case Department 10 at the Seoul High Court on Tuesday last week. The petitions were also endorsed by Lee Yeong-ja, the wife of Lee Kun-hees second elder brother the late Lee Chang-hee, former chairman of Saehan Media; Lee Sook-hee (wife of Our Home chairman Koo Ja-hak), the late Samsung founder Lee Byung-chuls second daughter; and Lee Soon-hee, his third daughter.
The petition signed by Hong and Lee Jae-yong reportedly included a message reading (Lee Jae-hyun) is having difficulties as his health has deteriorated due to pyelitis he suffered when young, and symptoms of genetic disease are striking him as well, adding, As he is also suffering mentally as well, he can hardly afford to serve in jail. It also reportedly suggests As CJ is facing serious disruptions in management due to suspension of the process to make important business decisions, authorities are urged to give lenience for him.
On the submission of petitions by family members of Samsung Group owners, analysts in the business community say Samsung and CJ, which were in dispute over lawsuits due to inheritance of wealth, may be embracing reconciliatory mood. Samsung and CJ have been in conflict since 2012, when Lee Maeng-hee, former chairman of Cheil Fertilizers and Lee Jae-hyuns father, filed suit against Lee Kun-hee.
Lee Jae-hyuns attorney said, After the final court hearing on August 14, I received petitions that were gathered by CJ, and submitted them, adding, As (Lee Jae-hyun) is suffering from serious illness, family members are believed to have joined forces to help.
Samsung Group also said, I understand that (the family) submitted petition to seek lenience (for Lee Jae-hyun) in consideration of kinship and moral obligation between family members.
Lee Jae-hyun, who was convicted and arrested in July last year, was handed four years in prison and 26 billion won (25.6 million dollars) in fine in a lower court ruling. He is awaiting ruling by the appellate court on September 4. He received kidney transplant surgery in August last year. Currently, he is under suspension of execution of confinement due to deteriorating health. At the final hearing on August 14, he appealed for lenience to judges, saying I want to live.