Appeal trial for Samsung heir starts in Seoul

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SEOUL: Samsung heir Lee Jae-Yong was back in court Thursday to appeal his five-year sentence for bribing South Korea’s ousted president Park Geun-Hye, with prosecutors arguing for a longer jail term. Lee, vice-chairman of Samsung Electronics, was found guilty in August of bribery, perjury and other charges relating to payments made by Samsung to Park’s secret confidante Choi Soon-Sil, but the 49-year-old’s lawyers argue he is innocent. “The evidence-only principle was pushed aside,” lead counsel, lawyer Lee In-Jae, said at the appeal trial at the Seoul High Court. The original verdict found that a total of 8.9 billion won ($7.9 million) was paid in return for favors including government support for Lee’s succession at Samsung after his father was left bedridden by a heart attack in 2014. Lawyer Lee In-Jae said there was no material evidence to back charges that Lee asked for policy favors when he met Park in 2014. Four other Samsung executives convicted on the same charges and given sentences ranging from four years to suspended terms were present at the appeal hearing.

AFP

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