The appearing head of Samsung Group has gone on trial in South Korea for his alleged position in a corruption scandal that led to the ousting of the president.
Lee Jae-yong denies fees of embezzlement and perjury.
Prosecutors say he gave 43bn Korean received ($38m; £30m) to President Park Guen-hye’s good friend for political favours.
Ms Park is suspected of colluding with Choi Quickly-sil to get conglomerates to donate to Ms Choi’s foundations.
Ms Park was arrested last week, after being impeached, and despatched to a detention centre, though she has not but been formally charged.
Mr Lee, who appeared in court docket in handcuffs, has denied the bribery allegations, saying Samsung was coerced into handing over the funds.
One other 4 Samsung executives have additionally appeared in court docket in reference to the scandal. Additionally they deny the accusations.
Mr Lee’s case is “some of the deep-rooted and typical circumstances involving unhealthy relations between politicians and businessmen,” mentioned Particular Prosecutor Park Younger-Soo in his opening assertion in Seoul’s Central District Court docket.
Mr Lee, the 48-year-old vice-chairman of Samsung Electronics, has been the dad or mum firm Samsung Group’s de facto head since his father Lee Kun-hee suffered a coronary heart assault in 2014.
He was arrested in February.
On Friday, the chairman of the highly effective Lotte conglomerate, Shin Dong-bin, was additionally being questioned by prosecutors in reference to the widening corruption probe.
They’re investigating whether or not donations given by Lotte to foundations allegedly managed by Ms Choi have been bribes related to the agency’s bid for a profitable duty-free enterprise.
Evaluation: Karishma Vaswani, Asia Enterprise correspondent
There are hopes that whoever replaces Ms Park will push for actual reform within the largest conglomerates, generally known as chaebols. However how practical are these reforms in a rustic the place the highest 10 chaebols personal greater than 1 / 4 of all enterprise property?
Samsung’s gross sales alone make up a fifth of South Korea’s gross home product.
Within the run-up to presidential elections in Could, candidates have made chaebol reform a significant pillar of their marketing campaign guarantees.
However unpicking the complicated and highly effective maintain these family-run companies have over the South Korean economic system will take extra than simply rhetoric.