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Samsung succession memo likely written in August 2014

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Published : 2017-07-16 20:29
Updated : 2017-07-16 20:29

A handwritten memo found inside Cheong Wa Dae, along with some 300 documents purportedly from the previous Park Geun-hye administration, appears to have been written in August 2014, three months after the Samsung Group chairman fell ill, an official at the presidential office said Sunday.

“There are circumstances to assume that the memo was written in August of 2014,” the official said. “This, along with the memo itself, has been handed over to the special counsel (that investigated the scandal of former President Park Geun-hye),” he said.

On Friday, the Blue House disclosed the discovery of documents in an unused cabinet in an office used by civil affairs aides.

It also revealed the discovery of the memo reading “Samsung’s management rights inheritance” followed by an arrow pointing to the words “use as an opportunity.”

According to Cheong Wa Dae spokesperson Park Soo-hyun, the memo goes on, “Determine what Samsung requires in passing on management rights, and help (Samsung) where possible. Seek ways for Samsung to contribute more to the country’s economy.” 

Cheong Wa Dae`s spokesperson Park Soo-hyun. Yonhap

August 2014 is nearly three months after Samsung tycoon Lee Kun-hee suffered a near-fatal heart attack. He is still hospitalized. It is also one month before former President Park had a one-on-one meeting with Lee’s only son, Samsung Electronics Vice Chairman Lee Jae-yong.

Special prosecutor Park Young-soo, investigating the former president’s alleged corruption, attempted to search Cheong Wa Dae on suspicions of money-for-political favors deals between the then-state chief and major conglomerates, including Samsung, but couldn’t gain access due to the office’s rejection. 

The former president and the Samsung heir are both now on trial on suspicion that Samsung provided bribes, disguised as donations and sports sponsorships, in return for the administration’s support of the group’s succession plan.

August 2014 is also a time that Woo Byung-woo, pinpointed as a key figure in the former president’s scandal, was in charge of the civil affairs office at Cheong Wa Dae.

The Blue House official, however, said they found no hints as to the memo’s writer.

By Lee Sun-young (milaya@heraldcorp.com)