INTERNATIONAL - South Korea’s Samsung Group, whose leader faces trials over a bribery scandal involving former president Park Geun-hye, has appointed external experts to a new oversight panel to stamp out criminal conduct, the chief of the committee said on Thursday.
The move came after a judge overseeing Samsung leader Jay Y. Lee’s bribery case in October criticized the top conglomerate for its lack of an effective compliance system, saying one was needed to prevent wrongdoing by executives and its leader.
“The timing Samsung chose to make these changes is not stunningly adequate ... and if this committee fails, I will end up with huge disgrace,” said Kim Ji-hyung, a former supreme court judge named to head the compliance and oversight committee, told a news conference.
He said he initially turned down Samsung’s offer, because of worries it would end up failing to make improvements and only be used by Samsung to secure favorable court rulings.
He said Lee, Samsung’s de facto leader, pledged to guarantee the panel’s autonomy at a meeting, adding that it would monitor potential misconduct at group companies, including flagship Samsung Electronics.