Samsung Group denied bribery to help South Korea win the right to host PyeongChang Dongao (left is former South Korean President Lee Myung-bak, and China is Samsung Group President Lee Kun Hee)
The Samsung Group recently denied any illegal lobbying activities to members of the International Olympic Committee to win their votes, allowing Pyeongchang to obtain news coverage of the right to host the 2018 Winter Olympics.
South Korea's SBS television last week accused Samsung Group of bribery of international athletes and illegal lobbying of IOC members, eventually allowing Pyeongchang to win the right to host the 2018 Winter Olympics. Among the 137 e-mails obtained on SBS, including those of Samsung Group executives and Papa Massata Diack, the son of former IAAF Chairman Lamine Diack Inter-communications, the latter being wanted by the Interpol because of numerous bribery accusations.
SBS television reported that Massata Diag had asked Samsung Group to sign a 9.5 million dollar sponsorship fee for the 2010-2012 IAAF Diamond League. In return, he will lobby some IOC members to support Pyeongchang hosting the Winter Olympics.
For the SBS television report, Samsung Group claimed that the report was false and denied illegal lobbying of IOC officials to help Pyeongchang secure the right to host the 2018 Winter Olympics. Samsung Group stated that it has signed legal sponsorship contracts with many international sports organizations, including the IAAF.
At the end of 2009, Lee Kun-hee, president of the Samsung Group, acquired the special amnesty of Lee Myung-bak, the then President of South Korea, to allow him to participate in the bid for the Olympic Winter Games. Lee Myung-bak stated at the State Conference at the end of 2009 that the main motive for pardon was consideration of national interests. He said: "Ping Cheong's bid to host the Winter Olympics for the third time is a must. The sports community, Gangwon-do, and the economic community strongly appealed for this. This must be met by IOC member Lee Kun Hee. "This time the speech emphasized that Li Jianxi was pardoned to bid for the Winter Olympics.
Li Jianxi was a member of the International Olympic Committee at that time and suspended his work in the International Olympic Committee after being accused of tax evasion in 2008. In November 2007, Kim Yong-chul, a former legal consultant of Samsung Group, reported that Samsung had a bribe fund of up to 2 trillion won, unveiling a Samsung executive scandal. The Seoul High Court ruled in August 2009 that Li Jianxi was found guilty of engaging in illegal bond transactions and was sentenced to 3 years imprisonment, suspended for 5 years, and another fine of 110 billion won (approximately US$94 million).
After obtaining the amnesty, Li Jianxi participated in the IOC Assembly in February 2010 and exercised the authority of its International Olympic Committee members to lobby the parties to increase the probability of South Korea's successful Olympic bid. In July 2011, Pyeongchang defeated Munich, Germany and Annecy, France and won the right to host the 2018 Winter Olympics. Pyeongchang had previously lost in the fight for hosting rights to the 2010 Olympic Winter Games in 2010 and 2014.
South Korean prosecutors sued former President Lee Myung-bak on charges of bribery on the 9th of this month. He also became the fourth former South Korean president to be sued for corruption after Quan Dou Huan, Lu Taiyu, and Park Yong Hui. The prosecution accused Li Mingbo of 16 counts, including corruption, bribery, abuse of power, tax evasion, breach of trust agreement, and violation of the electoral law. The total amount of bribery received was approximately 11.1 billion won. According to the prosecution, Lee Myung-bak received a bribe from the Samsung Group in 2009 and issued the “Presidential Decree” issued by Samsung President Lee Kun Hee who faces imprisonment for tax evasion. Samsung Group paid 6 billion won to an American law firm representing Lee Myung-bak. However, both Lee Myung-bak and Samsung Group previously denied the transfer of benefits, saying that the prosecution's allegations were not based on this.