SEOUL, April 14 (Yonhap) -- The Supreme Court on Thursday upheld a 2 1/2-yr prison term for a former health minister for pressuring the National Pension Service (NPS) to approve a controversial merger of two Samsung Group units during the previous administration.
Moon Hyung-pyo, who served as health minister from 2013 to 2015 during the Park Geun-hye administration, was indicted on charges of forcing the NPS to endorse the 2015 merger deal between Samsung C&T Corp. and Cheil Industries Inc. without proper due diligence and inflicting losses for the pension. The NPS then controlled about 11 percent of Samsung C&T's shares.
He was previously convicted and sentenced to 2 1/2 years by two lower courts.
The deal was widely seen as a step to enhance Samsung Electronics Vice Chairman Lee Jae-yong's control of the family-controlled Samsung Group, as his father Lee Kun-hee suffered a heart attack in 2014.
Moon was among dozens of former officials indicted by a special counsel who looked into the influence-peddling scandal that led to the removal former President Park Geun-hye from office.
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