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Samsung de facto leader Lee Jae-yong attends fourth hearing of retrial

Samsung Electronics’ de facto leader Lee Jae-yong on Friday appeared at the Seoul High Court with his lawyers to attend the fourth hearing of the retrial on Lee’s bribery scandal involving former President Park Geun-hye.

Lee remained silent on questions asked by reporters on the scene. At the entrance to the Seoul High Court, a group of people from local labor unions demonstrated in support of more jail time for Lee.

Samsung heir Lee Jae-yong enters the Seoul High Court for the fourth hearing of his retrial on Friday. (Yonhap)
Samsung heir Lee Jae-yong enters the Seoul High Court for the fourth hearing of his retrial on Friday. (Yonhap)


For this hearing, Samsung tried to bring CJ Group Chairman Sohn Kyung-shik as a witness to appeal to the court that the bribery was, in part, the result of coercion from the ousted former president.

However, Sohn, on the previous day, told the court he would not be able to attend the hearing due to a business trip.

Instead of focusing on proving Lee’s innocence, Lee and his lawyers are expected to seek to minimize his sentence in the latest hearing by showing Samsung’s resolution to comply with the court’s suggestion last year.

During the bribery trial of Lee in October, Judge Jeong Joon-young called for stricter compliance measures involving top executives. In response, Samsung announced last week that former Supreme Court Justice Kim Ji-hyung will lead an in-house committee to monitor and investigate wrongdoings across the group’s subsidiaries.

Lee and his lawyers are expected to provide further details of the company’s recent progress on reinforcing its internal compliance system to the court.

Lee was sentenced to five years in prison in 2017 for giving bribes to a longtime friend of former President Park. Lee was released after about a year following a suspension of his sentence. The Supreme Court has since overturned the decision and ordered a retrial.

By Shim Woo-hyun (ws@heraldcorp.com)
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