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South Korea's presidential office finds possible 'smoking gun' in ex-president, Samsung bribery scandal Updated: 2017-07-14 20:00:32 KST

South Korea's presidential office has found more than three-hundred documents from the previous Park Geun-hye administration some of which could be used as evidence against ousted and jailed former President Park as well as de facto Samsung Group leader, Lee Jae-yong.

"These documents found in a cabinet in an office previously used by the presidential secretary for civil affairs range from the president's chief secretaries' meeting minutes dated between June 11th, 2014 and June 24th, 2015 and cabinet member nominations to voting rights of the National Pension Service and forecast of local elections."

Among the hundreds of pages is also a report listing possible ways to help the son of bedridden Samsung Group Chairman Lee Kun-hee secure management control of one of the biggest conglomerates in the world.

A separate memo documents what appears to be a presidential order to review the possibility of taking advantage of the National Pension Service's voting rights in the succession process.
The NPS was a major shareholder of Samsung companies.

"Some of the documents read as follows: Use Samsung's management succession as an opportunity. Figure out Samsung's needs for leadership succession. Seek ways to drive Samsung to contribute more to national economy. The government MAY exercise influence over resolving issues facing Samsung. Come up with a response to economic democratization bill, ease regulation on 'separation of industrial and financial capital.'"

Key officials of the NPS, including its former chairman, has been sentenced to jail term for inflicting damage to the fund by endorsing a merger of two Samsung affiliates.
That 2015 merger is largely believed to have strengthened younger Lee's control over Samsung Group and the Samsung heir is currently standing trial on suspicions of offering bribes to ex-president Park and her longtime confidante Choi Soon-sil.

"Now, these are documents that the special independent counsel appointed for this case had sought to secure in vain because they were blocked by the former administration.
South Korea's top office believes the latest findings will shed new light on the ongoing trials of the impeached president suspected of colluding with her friend, Choi, to take bribes from Samsung's Lee in return for business favors and engaging in a pattern of influence-peddling and abuse of powers.
From the presidential office of Cheong Wa Dae, Moon Connyoung, Arirang News."
KOGL : Korea Open Government License
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