SEOUL (Reuters) – The inheritor to South Korea’s Samsung Group appeared in a packed court docket 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 court docket in August of bribing former president Park Geun-hye to assist strengthen his management of the crown jewel within the conglomerate, Samsung Electronics, one of many world’s greatest know-how corporations.

The appellate court docket listening to the attraction is more likely to attempt to rule on the case by subsequent February, authorized consultants mentioned. Whichever facet loses may take the case to the Supreme Courtroom, the ultimate court docket of attraction in South Korea.

Lee’s presence marked his first public look for the reason that August ruling. He didn’t communicate throughout the early proceedings aside from giving his beginning date and handle.

The decrease court docket 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.

The protection strongly challenged the decrease court docket’s logic that Lee’s actions “implied” solicitation for assist from Park by offering monetary assist for the previous president’s shut pal and confidante Choi Quickly-sil.

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


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

Park’s pal Choi was not a civil servant.

The decrease court docket discovered that Samsung’s monetary assist of seven.2 billion received ($6.27 million) to sponsor the equestrian profession of Choi’s daughter constituted an extraordinary kind 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.

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

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