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Widow and eldest son of ex-Saehan chief rule out suit on Samsung chairman

SEOUL, March 29 — The wife and the eldest son of former Saehan Media chairman Lee Chang-hee, the second son of Samsung Group founder Lee Byung-chull, said that they have no intention to sue Samsung Electronics Co. chairman Lee Kun-hee over inheritance, despite an inheritance suit filed against the Samsung chairman by the family of Lee Chang-hee's late second son.

Lee Young-ja, the widow of Lee Chang-hee, and her eldest son, Lee Jae-kwan, said through their lawyers late Wednesday night that they are not part of the ongoing legal action taken against the Samsung chairman by the family of Lee Jae-chan, the second son of Lee Chang-hee.

Earlier on Wednesday, the wife and two sons of the late Lee Jae-chan asked for the return of about 100 billion won (US$ 89 million) in stocks and cash from Samsung chairman Lee, the third son of the Samsung founder, according to their law firm.

Lee Jae-chan committed suicide in 2010 after a series of business failures. His wife claimed 454,847 of the Samsung chairman's shares in Samsung Life Insurance Co., 10 preferred and 10 common stocks in Samsung Electronics, and another 100 Samsung Life stocks, along with 100 million won in cash, according to her lawyers. Her two sons separately asked for 300,231 shares in Samsung Life, 10 preferred and 10 common stocks in Samsung Electronics, and another 100 Samsung Life stocks, along with 100 million won.

"We have not joined (the latest lawsuit)," Lee Young-ja and Lee Jae-kwan said through their lawyers. "The issues of the legacy of Lee Byung-chull have already been all resolved."

The latest legal action came nearly a month after the Samsung chairman was sued on similar grounds by his eldest brother Lee Maeng-hee and elder sister Lee Sook-hee, who demanded their younger brother return part of the sum their father passed on before dying in 1987. Their suits claimed their father left shares for all of his offspring and that the chairman concealed the bulk of group stocks.

Lee Byung-chull, who in 1938 founded the company that is now South Korea's largest business conglomerate, had eight children and Lee Kun-hee inherited the majority of wealth.

Lee Maeng-hee asked the court to order the Samsung chairman to give back wealth worth about 710 billion won, while Lee Sook-hee sought the return of stocks worth 190 billion won, according to Seoul court's records.

All told, the plaintiffs in the three separate lawsuits are seeking nearly 1 trillion won of Lee Kun-hee's assets.

The Samsung chairman became South Korea's richest shareholder with his holdings topping a milestone 10-trillion won in value earlier this month, fueled by the country's bullish stock market. (PNA/Yonhap) DCT/jnc

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