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Samsung boss admits unlawful sedative use

Legal woes continue to haunt Samsung chief Jay Y. Lee.

On Tuesday (October 12) he pleaded guilty to a charge of unlawful use of a controlled substance.

Lee was released on parole in August following a bribery conviction.

It raised expectations of a flurry of major decisions at crown jewel Samsung Electronics and its affiliates.

Including the location of a $17 billion chip factory being planned in the United States.

But Lee's legal troubles continued this week.

In a short first hearing, Lee said he obtained propofol - a sedative used in anesthesia - 41 times between 2015 and 2020.

Lee told the court he was "deeply regretful".

And said he had not used the drug since his August release.

Lee's lawyer said the exec originally sought treatment due to psychological pressure after his father's 2014 hospitalisation.

Prosecutors are seeking a fine of over $58,000, plus additional fees, with a ruling expected on October 26th.

Staff at a clinic where Lee received the sedative, who are being tried separately for administering the drug, have denied wrongdoing.

The Samsung boss was convicted in January of bribery and embezzlement and sentenced to 30 months in jail.

He is simultaneously on trial accused of stock-price manipulation and accounting fraud related to the $8 billion merger of two Samsung firms in 2015.

Hearings for that are held weekly.

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