Samsung vice chair disputes charges
Defense, prosecution spar during hearing in bribery case.
Samsung lawyers denied on Thursday all charges brought against Lee Jae-yong, the billionaire heir to Samsung, and questioned the legitimacy of the indictment in a South Korea corruption scandal that has ensnared the country’s president.
Lee’s lawyers told a preliminary hearing that prosecutors are unfairly trying to create an impression Lee is guilty by mentioning a past conviction of his father and by depicting Lee as having absolute control over a strategy office that allegedly engaged in bribery. They asked prosecutors to rewrite their statement of allegations and to correct its depiction of the strategy office as a team working only for the benefit of the Samsung founding family.
The 48-year-old Samsung Electronics vice chairman was arrested and indicted last month on bribery, embezzlement and three other charges that could entail at least five years in prison if he’s proven guilty. He is represented by an army of 13 attorneys at Bae, Kim & Lee LLC that includes former senior judges.
Both prosecutors and Samsung have high stakes in the case. The court must issue a ruling by the end of May.
Samsung has major operations in Austin. Samsung said in November it plans to invest more