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Samsung heir appeals against convictions, jail term

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Seoul: Samsung group’s heir Lee Jae-yong filed for an appeal on Monday, three days after he was sentenced to five years in jail for bribery and embezzlement in a corruption case that led to the ouster of former South Korean President Park Geun-hye.

His attorney, Kim Jong-hoon, submitted the appeal to the Seoul Central District Court against the ruling that dealt a blow to the image of the South Korean electronics giant, reports Yonhap News Agency.

On Friday, the court handed down the verdict, convicting Lee of involvement in Samsung’s provision of 7.2 billion won ($6.38 million) in bribes for the equestrian training of the daughter of Park’s long time friend and confidante Choi Soon-sil.

After the sentencing, Lee’s attorneys said they cannot accept the verdict, saying they were confident that the heir would be cleared of all charges at an appeals court.

The first hearing for the appeals trial is expected to be held next month.

Prosecutors had demanded a 12-year jail term for him on charges of offering or pledging 43.3 billion won of bribes to win the government’s approval for a merger of two Samsung units under terms designed to increase his control over the entire empire so as to cement a power transfer from his ailing father Lee Kun-hee.

Also on Monday, the vice chairman of Samsung Electronics urged employees to do their best to deal with the situation.

“We all need to gather power and wisdom to overcome the unprecedented challenge,” Kwon Oh-hyun said in an official statement.

Kwon said that “the business situations at home and abroad are too harsh for us to be mired in shock and confusion.”

IANS

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