Samsung heir accused of bribery, perjury as trial opens

Several leaders of prominent chaebols, or family-run companies like Samsung in South Korea, have faced similar situations, including Lee's father, Lee Kun-hee.

For many months, Samsung (SSNLF) has been embroiled in a wave of bitter controversies ranging from corruption charges waged at senior management to the widespread Galaxy Note 7 recall.

Samsung Electronics Co.'s thriving components business is keeping it financially prosperous, prompting the company to forecast strong first-quarter earnings growth despite political turmoil ensnaring the South Korean conglomerate back home.

Its display business is estimated to have contributed 1 trillion won on strong demand for LCD panels in China.

Lee faces five charges that could entail at least five years in prison if he is found guilty.

Samsung did not elaborate on its quarterly results.

The 48-year-old Lee has denied allegations from prosecutors that he bribed former president Park Geun-hye's friend to secure government backing for a 2015 merger that helped him tighten his control over Samsung.

The performance of Samsung's Galaxy S8 premium smartphone, which goes on sale on April 21, will be the key variable for Samsung going forward.

Lee's defence lawyers however said the payments to the Choi were charitable contributions for sports and culture development that Samsung was obliged to make under pressure from officials, and not bribes.

Song said Samsung was unaware of Park's friend, Choi Soon-sil, until after the scandal over their relationship and allegations of influence-peddling surfaced late a year ago. "But there was no such need", Song said.

Tech giant Samsung Electronics estimated on Friday that its first-quarter operating profit rose 48 percent from a year earlier.

The stable flow of components profits comes as Samsung's de facto leader, Lee Jae-yong, stands trial beginning Friday over his alleged role in a bribery scandal roiling South Korea. Mr.

Samsung is due to give more details of its financial results later this month.

Samsung shares touched a record high of 2.134 million won in late March on expectations of record earnings in 2017, as limited production capacity for the memory chip industry and growing demand for more firepower from devices such as smartphones and servers push up margins.

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