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Trial on Samsung heir begins over bribery allegations

All Headlines 10:21 April 07, 2017

SEOUL, April 7 (Yonhap) -- A Seoul court on Friday held the first hearing on Samsung Group's de facto leader on charges of bribery in relation to a massive corruption scandal that brought down former President Park Geun-hye.

Lee Jae-yong, vice chairman of Samsung Electronics Co., appeared at the Seoul Central District Court in a gray suit, along with four other senior executives from the business group.

He was arrested and indicted in February on charges of giving or promising 43.3 billion won (US$38.3 million) to Park's close friend Choi Soon-sil as kickbacks in return for helping him secure group control through a merger of two key units. Park was named an accomplice in the bribery allegations.

Of the total, 20.4 billion won went to two dubious foundations -- Mir and K Sports -- allegedly controlled by Choi.

Park is suspected of colluding with her friend to force dozens of local conglomerates, including Samsung, to "donate" a total of 77.4 billion won to the foundations.

Lee has been flatly denying the bribery allegations, insisting that the business group was coerced into providing financial assistance.

Lee Jae-yong, vice chairman of Samsung Electronics Co., arrives at the Seoul Central District Court on April 7, 2017, to stand trial on charges of bribery. (Yonhap)

scaaet@yna.co.kr
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