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Lee Kun-hee under Criticism for His Lobbying Activities

Posted November. 05, 2007 03:11,   


There is emerging evidence that Lee Kun-hee, chairman of the Samsung Group, ordered his subordinates to lobby lawmakers and judicial officers, and that he mentioned giving free bottles of wine or hotel discount coupons to them.

According to documents titled “The Orders of the Chairman,” released by Catholic Priests’ Association for Justice (CPAJ) yesterday, Lee said, “I think it is a good idea to give hotel discount coupons to those who don’t take money directly,” and added, “While it is a little risky to give cash to judicial officers such as lawyers and judges, and lawmakers, I think giving coupons wouldn’t hurt.”

Lee also said, “I think it is also a good idea to send bottles of wines to those who enjoy wine. Find out who likes drinking wine.”

About the source of this document, the CPAJ said that, “This document was made by a restructuring office of the Samsung Group from November to December 2003 that recorded orders given by Lee at official meetings or unofficial CEO meetings at his home,” adding, “Lawyer Kim Yong-cheol, the former chief of legal department of this division, who was also involved in this recording, was entrusted with the documents.”

Responding to this announcement, a source from the Samsung Group said, “This seems to be an internal document.” However, the source attacked the argument that Lee ordered lobbying activities.

A source said, “As you can see in this document, Lee doesn’t make any orders. He is just suggesting ideas,” adding, “When making orders, Lee clearly explains them and doesn’t say, ‘It is a good idea’ or things of that nature.”

The CPAJ also argued that Samsung attempted lobbying activities using cash, saying that, “The Samsung Group attempted to lobby a judge to win a trial in the case of the group’s illegal selling of Everland convertible bonds to Lee’s son and daughters at an extremely low price by forcing Kim Yong-cheol to give three billion won to the judge. However, Kim refused.”

In addition, the CPAJ plans to hold a second press conference at a church located in Jegi-dong, Dongdaemun-gu, Seoul, at 2:00 p.m. today where it may reveal how Lee’s son, Lee Jae-yong, collected his property.”

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