Samsung boss attends first hearing of bribery trial

Samsung heir Lee Jae-yong has appeared in court for the first hearing of the bribery trial involving former President Park Geun-hye -- his first court appearance since his arrest in February.
Written by Cho Mu-Hyun, Contributing Writer

Samsung chief Lee Jae-yong has appeared in a Seoul court for the first time since his arrest, for the first hearing of his bribery trail.

The vice chairman of Samsung Electronics was indicted on bribery, forgery, and embezzlement charges.

He appeared in Seoul Central District Court along with four of his former senior executives.

The de facto boss of Samsung allegedly orchestrated the paying of bribes, a total of 43.3 billion won, to Choi Soon-shil, friend of former President Park Geun-hye, to gain government support for a merger of two of the group's business units.

The former president lost her position following impeachment and was arrested last month for accepting bribes from Samsung.

Lee was arrested back February after his first arrest warrant was rejected.

In preliminary hearings last month before the trial, Lee's lawyers said he denied all charges.

He has consistently maintained his innocence and said Samsung was forced to pay the money by the former president.

Because of the alleged amount of bribes, which is over $30 million, Lee's chances of a suspended sentence are slim if found guilty.

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