SEOUL The head of South Korea’s Samsung Team [SAGR.UL], Jay Y. Lee, may well be languishing in a jail mobile but he is authorized loads of people, which may well enable him to play a crucial role in company conclusions even if he just isn’t managing the conglomerate like he did in advance of.
Lee, who didn’t show up at very last Thursday’s preparatory hearing for his demo on bribery, embezzlement and other prices, is retained properly away from other inmates at the Seoul Detention Centre.
Some, this sort of as prime former presidential advisors, are also defendants in the corruption scandal that led to the removing from office environment of South Korean President Park Geun-hye on Friday.
Underneath South Korean restrictions, even though, Lee can satisfy any of his battery of attorneys with no time limitations and as generally as he wishes in the course of business hours from Monday to Saturday.
One of those people legal professionals instructed the 1st day of what exclusive prosecutors described as possibly “the demo of the century” that Lee denies all prices versus him.
Lee, like other people in detention centers awaiting demo, is also entitled to a person thirty-minute check out for every day from someone else, including executives from a person of Samsung’s affiliate marketers, or at minimum 12 hours of this sort of conferences a thirty day period.
At the discretion of the warden of the detention center, he could have further exclusive conferences in a visiting place that will not have partitions, making it possible for detainees to evaluate documents and get cell phone phone calls.
By comparison, in the United States, a defendant in federal custody on company crime prices is frequently authorized unrestricted access to attorneys in the course of normal business hours but can only get other people for a greatest four hours a thirty day period.
In the U.S., even though, significant white collar defendants are normally authorized to post bail so they can stay at home in advance of demo.
NO Have to have FOR “Alternatives”
South Korean media have photographed former Samsung Team Vice Chairman Choi Gee-sung and Samsung Electronics Co Ltd (005930.KS) President Rhee In-yong visiting Lee next his Feb seventeen arrest.
Samsung declined to confirm those people visits or remark on the degree of Lee’s involvement in administration affairs because he was detained. It did say that he is assembly frequently with his protection group, even though declined to be much more precise.
In a assertion it mentioned: “Mr. Lee’s precedence is making ready the legal protection so the truth of the matter can be discovered in long term court docket proceedings.”
Samsung has not named a replacement for Lee, who corporation insiders say did not take care of day-to-day affairs but was as a substitute performing as the crucial determination maker on significant initiatives this sort of as new investments, acquisitions, personnel conclusions and restructuring.
“There is no strategy B,” mentioned an executive at a Samsung affiliate, who declined to be determined as he was not licensed to communicate publicly on the issue. “We feel the vice chairman will be established innocent, and if he walks totally free soon after the 1st demo there is no cause to communicate about choices.”
Samsung Team has disbanded its company strategy office environment, the conglomerate’s nerve center managed by Lee and his lieutenant Choi Gee-sung, who is also a defendant in the case.
It has also been relocating in the previous yr to give much more electrical power around conclusions to the boards of its affiliate marketers this sort of as Samsung Electronics.
Three Conferences A Day
In the modern previous, some prime South Korean businessmen who have been in custody when on demo have utilised the lenient visitation routine to the entire.
For example, Justice Division info acquired and then produced by an opposition party lawmaker displays that Chey Tae-won, the head of chemicals to telecoms and semiconductors conglomerate SK Team, had 171 “exclusive” conferences with non-legal professional people, when he was detained in between February 2013 and July 2014.
Chey also had 1,607 conferences with his legal professionals in the course of that time, or 3 occasions a day on normal, and the regularity of the conferences authorized him to evaluate and remark on significant conclusions for the conglomerate when remaining detained, according to individuals common with the issue.
When Lee won’t have access to a laptop or computer in his 6.fifty six sq. meter (71 sq. foot) mobile, he can view documents in the course of those people conferences with his legal professionals and Samsung executives. Lee is not authorized to get documents back again to his mobile.
He can also make cell phone phone calls with authorization of the warden, but phone calls can be recorded or listened to by the authorities, according to South Korean correctional regulations.
Lee may well stay at the detention center until eventually at minimum September need to the case close up in the Supreme Court docket and he does not request bail. Samsung mentioned Lee has not determined still regardless of whether to request bail.
Even with the access to attorneys and executives, it just isn’t uncomplicated for business leaders to participate absolutely in corporation affairs after they are in jail, according to those people who have had past experience of this sort of dealings.
“In jail, it really is challenging to converse smoothly. So we could not do a lot of the large items, particularly M&As,” mentioned a person particular person with immediate expertise of a chaebol leader’s incarceration. “Running a conglomerate from in a jail is challenging. It is really not like they have a laptop or computer, they won’t be able to get items with relieve.”
(Reporting by Jane Chung, Joyce Lee and Se Young Lee Added reporting by Ju-min Park and Hyunjoo Jin Enhancing By Martin Howell)