Samsung‘s Lee stands firm on inheritance lawsuits
Lee Kun-hee, Korea's richest man and owner of top conglomerate Samsung Group, pledged Tuesday to fight back with tough legal action against the lawsuits filed by his elder siblings over inheritance.
"The inheritance issue has already been settled by the late group founder, and everyone was given a share," Lee Kun-hee told reporters on his way to work. "For now, I will not give up a penny. I will appeal the case to the Supreme Court or even to the Constitutional Court if necessary."
It is the first time that Lee, the second son of group founder Lee Byung-chull and chairman of group flagship Samsung Electronics Co., has openly mentioned the lawsuits.
Lee's tough remarks came after elder brother Lee Maeng-hee and elder sister Lee Sook-hee sued him in February, demanding the return of a share of the legacy from their father, who died in 1987.
The late Lee, who founded Samsung in 1938, had eight children and the Samsung Electronics chairman inherited the majority of the wealth.
Lee Maeng-hee asked the court to order his younger brother to give back wealth worth about 710 billion won (US$624.12 million), while the sister sought 190 billion won.
The Samsung owner said that his elder brother, who virtually controls food and media conglomerate CJ Group, has become covetous as Samsung has emerged as a global industrial behemoth. Lee Maeng-hee is the father of Lee Jay-hyun, chairman of CJ Group.
CJ Group was separated from Samsung Group in 1994 after Lee Kun-hee took control of the conglomerate. The enmity between the two groups still runs deep, according to industry sources.
Meanwhile, CJ refused to comment on the remarks by the Samsung Electronics chairman, saying that the lawsuit is a personal matter involving the two brothers. (Yonhap)