Archive for April 4th, 2018



In a legally impeccable move, civil-rights watchdog chair Park Un-jong temporarily suspended a court order for Samsung to disclose chemicals used in LCD production.   Source: Website capture

A South Korean government entity has sided with Samsung in its rejection of an order to disclose chemicals used in LCD production, adding to concerns that the conglomerate’s undue political clout remains not just unscathed but sill overarching, after one year into a new reformist government that came to office as a result of months of mass protests against political corruption and corporate malfeasance.

Order Suspended

A panel at the Anti-Corruption and Civil Rights Commission, a government civil-rights watchdog, on April 2, suspended a court order compelling Samsung Display Co., Ltd to disclose chemicals it uses in LCD production to a former female employee who has been seeking compensation for multiple sclerosis she said she contracted due to chemical exposure at a Samsung LCD lab.

Earlier, in August 2017, the country’s Supreme Court ruled in favor of Lee Hee-jin, 34 years old, who had been seeking the information, vaulted by her former employer as trade secrets, to establish evidence that would tie her incurable malady to routine chemical hazards at Samsung.

Lee was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 2005, only three years after her employment with the world’s largest LCD maker, fresh out of high school.

All Samsung’s Women?

The Anti-Corruption and Civil Rights Commission’s decision was especially toxic—the entity, mandated to curb government abuse to protect citizens, is now shielding Samsung from its impoverished occupation-disease victims seeking to know how they became fatally ill.

At first, its chair, Park Un-jong, a legal philosopher, ex officio ordered the suspension of the court order until her panel was convened.

20170113_imgSamsung Executive

One of Park’s three full-time panel members is a former Samsung executive Kim Eun-mi (pictured) made the temporary order permanent.  Source: Website capture

Park’s decision was perhaps formally impeccable, except that one of the three full-time members of her nine-member panel included Kim Eun-mi.  Kim, a retired judge, worked as a human resources director and a compliance officer at two Samsung affiliates in 1996-2007 as a professor in 2007-2009 at a university owned by the conglomerate.

Kim excused herself from the meeting, the commission said in a press release on April 3, while the panel discussed on Samsung’s petition.

However, as of this posting, the commission did not release the rationale of its decision or evidence of Kim’s absence from the meeting or decision making on Samsung.

Handing out Money Alone Is Not Bribery”

The commission’s decision came on the heels of a higher court’s waiver in February 2018 of a 30-month prison sentence for Lee Jae-yong, also known as Jay Lee, detained under corruption and bribery allegations.

Judge Cheong Hyeong-sik slashed Lee’s sentence to two and a half years from five by scrapping bribery convictions related to Lee’s takeover of managerial control of Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd.  Cheong treated as briberies only KRW 3.6 billion (U$3.4 million) out of a total of KRW$43.3 billion (U$41.1 million) Lee gave to the now-impeached president Park Geun-hye and her shamanic adviser and friend, Choi Soon-sil.


Judge Cheong Hyeong-sik seems to have a hard time distinguishing between bribery and extortion.   Source: Internet capture

“Handing out money itself does not constitute bribery,” Cheong told to the conservative daily Chosun Ilbo, commenting on his ruling, without specifying who gave money to who for what.

“It would be hard for Lee to reject when the president [Park] asked,” the judge went on, turning bribery into a sort of extortion.

Union Busting

Samsung’s standoff with civil society and the government will likely continue as it is facing a fresh round of government investigations and public anger.  On April 2, the prosecution said it would launched a new probe into Samsung’s union-busting scheme as its recent raid of the conglomerate over new bribery allegations turned up more than 6,000 documents that delineate Samsung’s efforts to quash any unionization drive.

In 2013, the conglomerate’s anti-union guidelines were leaked to the press, prompting a government probe.   The government cited lack of evidence and ended the investigation.

Free Like A Jailbird

On April 3, a freed Jay Lee emerged in Instagram postings by Akira Back, a Korean-Canadian celebrity chef.   With a supreme court ruling still pending and ongoing investigations into fresh corruption allegations, Lee will enjoy wining and dining while he can.


Released from jail on suspicious gronds,  Lee Jae-yong, Samsung’s heir apparent, appears to attempt to enjoy his freedom while it lasts.    Source: Instagram

SHARPS’s Sit-in Continues

Since Oct. 7, 2015, SHARPS and its supporters have been staging a sit-in at Samsung D’light, the company’s so-called global exhibition space in south Seoul, calling for the world’s largest technology company to:  1) compensate all victims of occupational disease transparently and sufficiently; and 2) make a sincere and full apology.

On April 9, 2018, parts of the posting were corrected or expanded for better clarity.


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