Samsung leader Lee excused from trial hearing as Biden to tour S.Korea chip plant

Samsung leader Lee excused from trial hearing as Biden to tour S.Korea chip plant

Samsung leader Lee excused from trial hearing as Biden to tour S.Korea chip plant
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Samsung Electronics Vice Chairman Jay Y. Lee leaves the Seoul high court in Seoul, South Korea October 25, 2019. REUTERS/Kim Hong-Ji

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SEOUL, May 20 (Reuters) – Samsung Electronics Vice Chairman Jay Y. Lee has been excused from attending an accounting fraud trial hearing on Friday, a court spokesperson said, as he is expected to host the US President’s tour of a semiconductor plant in South Korea.

Although the defendant’s attendance is required as a rule to ensure his right to defend, the Seoul Central District Court granted Lee’s request to not attend as witnesses’ testimony can be recorded and the defendant notified, the spokesperson said.

Lee is expected to be accompanying US President Joe Biden during his tour of the world’s largest semiconductor plant located in the city of Pyeongtaek about 50 km (30 miles) from Seoul, South Korean media have said. read more

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It is expected to be Biden’s first stop during the South Korean leg of his first Asian trip as US president.

It would be Lee’s highest-profile public appearance since he was released on parole in August last year from a bribery conviction. read more

Lee’s absence from court is a rare occurrence. For over a year, he has attended all hearings of a separate trial related to the $8 billion merger of two Samsung firms in 2015, court records showed.

In 2020, prosecutors accused Lee of stock-price manipulation and accounting fraud related to the merger. Lee has denied the accusations. read more

Since Lee was freed on parole, Samsung (005930.KS) has made major moves such as choosing Taylor, Texas as the US location of its new $17 billion chip plans, merging its mobile and consumer electronics divisions and naming new co-chief executives in its biggest reshuffle since 2017. read more

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Reporting by Joyce Lee; Editing by Himani Sarkar

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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