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Lawmaker forced out of parliament after exposing corruption at Samsung

Published Feb 15th, 2013 2:05PM EST
Samsung Corruption Exposed

A South Korean lawmaker who exposed corruption at consumer electronics giant Samsung (005930) has been forced out of office by the country’s Supreme Court. The court upheld a ruling on Friday that by publishing wiretaps of conversations between executives at Samsung on the Internet, Progressive Justice Party member Roh Hoe-chan violated communications laws. Roh has forfeited his seat as a result of the conviction, the Associated Press reports.

In 2005, the former member of parliament published transcripts of conversations between Samsung chairman Lee Kun-hee’s aide and his brother-in-law that were recorded during surveillance being carried out by South Korea’s national intelligence agency.

“Unlike distributing press releases to journalists, uploading messages on the Internet allows an easy access to anybody at any time,” the court said in its decision. Instead, the media should “select what to publish with responsibility.” Roh called the court’s statements “anachronistic,” and said the court should focus on fighting corruption among South Korean prosecutors.

Roh has been a vocal critic of Samsung for years and has regularly called for investigations into Samsung’s business practices, including its relationships with South Korean prosecutors.

“If I go back to eight years ago, I would still do the same thing,” Roh said in a statement following his conviction.

Zach Epstein
Zach Epstein Executive Editor

Zach Epstein has been the Executive Editor at BGR for more than 10 years. He manages BGR’s editorial team and ensures that best practices are adhered to. He also oversees the Ecommerce team and directs the daily flow of all content.

Zach first joined BGR in 2007 as a Staff Writer covering business, technology, and entertainment. His work has been quoted by countless top news organizations, and he was recently named one of the world's top 10 “power mobile influencers” by Forbes. Prior to BGR, Zach worked as an executive in marketing and business development with two private telcos.