Sam­sung chief de­nies charges in ‘trial of cen­tury’

New Straits Times - - Business -

The head of South Korea’s Sam­sung Group, Jay Y. Lee, de­nies all charges against him, said his lawyer yes­ter­day, at the start of what the spe­cial pros­e­cu­tor said could be the “trial of the cen­tury” amid a po­lit­i­cal scan­dal that has rocked the coun­try.

Lee has been charged with bribery, em­bez­zle­ment and other of­fences in a cor­rup­tion scan­dal that has al­ready led to the im­peach­ment of Pres­i­dent Park Geun-hye.

Lee, who is be­ing de­tained at Seoul De­ten­tion Cen­tre, did not at­tend court. A de­fen­dant does not have to turn up dur­ing a prepara­tory hear­ing, held to or­gan­ise ev­i­dence and set dates for witness tes­ti­mony.

Lee’s de­fence de­nied all charges against him on his be­half, say­ing that the spe­cial pros­e­cu­tion’s in­dict­ment cites con­ver­sa­tions, ev­i­dence or wit­nesses the pros­e­cu­tion did not ac­tu­ally hear, in­ves­ti­gate or in­ter­view ac­cord­ing to the rules — or states opin­ions that are not facts.

“It is un­clear what kind of or­der Lee Jae-yong is sup­posed to have given,” Song Wu-cheol, de­fend­ing Lee, told the court, us­ing his Korean name.

The Sam­sung Group has re­peat­edly de­nied wrong­do­ing.

Among the charges against Lee, 48, are pledg­ing bribes to a com­pany and or­gan­i­sa­tions linked to a friend of Park, Choi Soon-sil, the woman at the cen­tre of the scan­dal, to cement his con­trol of the smart­phones-to-bio­phar­ma­ceu­ti­cals busi­ness em­pire.

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