SEOUL (Reuters) – The inheritor to South Korea’s Samsung Group, convicted of bribing the nation’s former president, appeared in a packed courtroom on Thursday for the primary day of arguments within the attraction of his five-year jail time period for corruption.

The 49-year-old Jay Y. Lee was convicted by a decrease courtroom in August of bribing Park Geun-hye, who was dismissed as president in March.

The courtroom determined the bribe helped Lee strengthen his management of the crown jewel within the conglomerate, Samsung Electronics (005930.KS), one of many world’s largest expertise corporations.

The appellate courtroom listening to the attraction is prone to attempt to rule on the case by subsequent February, authorized specialists stated. Whichever facet loses might take the case to the Supreme Courtroom, the ultimate courtroom of attraction in South Korea.

Lee’s presence marked his first public look for the reason that August ruling. He didn’t communicate through the proceedings apart from giving his start date and handle.

The decrease courtroom in August had dominated that whereas Lee by no means requested for Park’s assist straight, the truth that a 2015 merger of two Samsung associates did assist cement Lee’s management over Samsung Electronics “implied” he was asking for the president’s assist to strengthen his management of the agency.

Lee, sitting principally expressionless in a darkish swimsuit with out tie, listened to hours-long PowerPoint displays by each side arguing over the decrease courtroom’s logic that Lee’s actions “implied” solicitation for assist from Park by offering monetary help for Park’s shut buddy and confidante Choi Quickly-sil.

On Thursday, the protection strongly challenged that logic.

“To ensure that implied solicitation to exist, there wanted to have been a stage of wordless understanding between Lee and the previous president that transcended talking,” stated Lee In-jae, Jay Y. Lee’s lead counsel.

The prosecution, which has lodged a cross-appeal in opposition to the decrease courtroom ruling that discovered Lee harmless on some expenses, stated the courtroom’s choice to not acknowledge specific solicitation for Park’s assist from Samsung regardless of the proof discovered “didn’t make sense”.

DEFENSE FIGHTS BACK

The protection, which spent a lot of its time through the preliminary trial refuting the prosecution’s particular person expenses, stated it’s going to deal with a number of key arguments within the attraction – together with whether or not there was actually an “bizarre sort of bribery” as outlined below South Korean legislation, which says solely civil servants come below the statute.

Park’s buddy Choi was not a civil servant.

The decrease courtroom discovered that Samsung’s monetary help of seven.2 billion gained ($6.27 million) to sponsor the equestrian profession of Choi’s daughter constituted an bizarre sort of bribery, as “it may be thought of the identical as she (Park) herself receiving it.”

The protection is anticipated to strongly problem this by saying that the prosecution, on whom the burden of proof lies, has not proved collusion between Park and Choi.

The attraction listening to continues on Oct 19.

Reporting by Joyce Lee; Extra reporting by Heekyong Yang; Modifying by Neil Fullick

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