(ATTN: UPDATES with more details from para 5)
SEOUL, Oct. 12 (Yonhap) — Prosecutors on Tuesday demanded a 70 million won (US$58,300) fine for Samsung Group heir Lee Jae-yong over his alleged illegal use of propofol, an anesthesia-inducing medication.
In June, prosecutors indicted the Samsung Electronics Co. vice chairman on charges of taking propofol for purposes other than medical treatments.
In the first hearing of the case held at the Seoul Central District Court on Tuesday, prosecutors demanded the court hand Lee a 70 million fine and an additional forfeiture of 17 million won.
Lee is suspected of having excessively and illegally taken the anesthesia drug at a plastic surgery clinic in Seoul from 2017-18. He has argued that he used propofol “normally” in accordance with a doctor’s prescription.
Prosecutors said they came up with the demand after taking into consideration the fact that Lee does not have similar criminal records in the past, as well as how many times he took the medication.
“I apologize for causing such trouble and concern due to my personal matter,'” Lee said. “All this has occurred due to my shortcomings, and although it was for medical purposes, I regret it deeply,” he added.
The court plans to make a verdict on the case on Oct. 26.
Lee previously served time in jail, as he was sentenced to 2 1/2 years in prison by the Seoul High Court on Jan. 18 in a retrial of a bribery case involving former President Park Geun-hye. He was released on parole in August.