South Korean prosecutors seek 12 year prison term for Samsung chief

Police raid office of Samsung family residences over suspected illicit payments

Lee has been in detention since February on trial for charges ranging from embezzlement to perjury, and the court is expected to rule in his case later this month.

Lee Jae-Yong was the "last beneficiary" of the crimes committed during the scandal, the prosecutor has stated.

During the trial, Lee acknowledged that his company transferred payments of more than $ 37 million to overseas foundations indirectly controlled by Choi, but without seeking political favors in return while being coerced by Choi and Park.

Prosecutors are seeing a 10-year sentence for Lee's mentor Choi Gee-sung, a former vice chairman at Samsung Electronics. His fate will be decided by three judges rather than a jury, and as is traditional in South Korean courts, the sentence will be decided ahead of the verdict.

The billionaire scion of South Korea's richest family told the court: "I have never asked anyone, including the president, for anything for the company or my personal gain".

The merger was extremely crucial to the third-generation Samsung chief to inherit the management control from his ailing father Chairman Lee Kun-hee who has been hospitalized in 2014 for heart attack.

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Lee has insisted he played no part in decisions concerning the wider Samsung group and "mostly listened to other executives".

Semiconductors and display continue to provide Samsung's strongest growth.

Samsung did not comment. They closed down 0.25 percent on Seoul's stock market on Monday.

The prosecution has said Samsung's intent behind supporting funds backed by Park, and sponsorsing the equestrian career of the daughter of her confidante, was to get government support for efforts to cement Lee's control of the smartphones-to-biopharmaceuticals business empire.

The deal was opposed by shareholders who said it willfully undervalued shares of one of the firms.

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