Samsung Will Shift Manufacturing from Mexico to US, Invest $300 Million

Five Samsung executives, including the head of Samsung Group [corporate website], Jay Y. Lee, on Thursday denied [press release, in Korean] all bribery, embezzlement and corruption charges levied against them.

As reported by Reuters, as the 48-year-old was detained the executive did not attend court, his defense denied all charges on his behalf. A defendant does not have to turn up during a preparatory hearing, held to organise evidence and set dates for witness testimony.

Lee's defense, Song Wu-cheol, told the court that "it is unclear what kind of order Lee Jae-yong [Jay Lee] is supposed to have given".

Lee is now on trial for bribery, embezzlement, and perjury charges stemming from the same case that got President Park Geun-Hye impeached.

Prosecutors indicted Lee last month for bribery, embezzlement, perjury, hiding assets overseas and concealing profit gained from criminal acts.

The co-accused include former Samsung Group Vice Chairman Choi Gee-sung, former Samsung Group President Chang Choong-ki and former Samsung Electronics President Park Sang-jin.

Legislation appointing the special prosecutor states that the current lower court trial should be finished within three months of the indictment on February 28. The prosecutor accuses him of conspiring to transfer 29.8 billion won (S$36.5 million) to Choi's organisations in return for favours. It's also expected to move production of oven ranges from Mexico to the U.S., which will be welcome news for President Donald Trump, which has vowed to bring back manufacturing and jobs to the U.S. The WSJ noted talks are ongoing and that no final agreements have been made.

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