Samsung heir Lee Jae-Yong was back in court yesterday to appeal his five-year sentence for bribing South Korea's ousted president Park Geun-Hye, with prosecutors arguing for a longer jail term. Lee, vice-chairman of Samsung Electronics, was found guilty in August of bribery, perjury and other charges relating to payments made by Samsung to Park's secret confidante Choi Soon- Sil, but the 49-year-old's lawyers argue he is innocent.
"The evidence-only principle was pushed aside," lead counsel, lawyer Lee In-Jae, said at the appeal trial at the Seoul High Court.
The original verdict found that a total of 8.9 billion won (HK$61.4 million) was paid in return for favors including government support for Lee's succession at Samsung after his father was left bedridden by a heart attack in 2014.
Lee looked gloomy in the courtroom as his lawyers argued the payments were not bribes but donations to support athletes.