Appeal trial for Samsung heir starts in Seoul

SEOUL (AFP) – Samsung heir Lee Jae-Yong was back in court yesterday 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 favours including government support for Lee’s succession at Samsung after his father was left bedridden by a heart attack in 2014.

File photo shows Lee Jae-Yong, vice chairman of Samsung Electronics Co, arriving for his trial at the Seoul Central District Court. – AP