Samsung scion fights back as appeal begins
THE HEIR to South Korea’s Samsung Group appeared in a packed court yesterday for the first day of arguments in the appeal of his five-year jail term for corruption. The 49-year-old Jay Y. Lee was convicted by a lower court in August of bribing former president Park Geun-hye to help strengthen his control of the crown jewel in the conglomerate, Samsung Electronics, one of the world’s biggest technology companies. The appellate court hearing the appeal is likely to try to rule on the case by next February, legal experts said. Whichever side loses could take the case to the Supreme Court, the final court of appeal in South Korea. Lee’s presence marked his first public appearance since the August ruling. He did not speak during the early proceedings other than giving his birth date and address. The lower court in August had ruled that while Lee never asked for Park’s help directly, the fact that a 2015 merger of two Samsung affiliates did help cement Lee’s control over Samsung Electronics “implied” he was asking for the president’s help to strengthen his control of the firm.