Samsung launches Galaxy C7 Pro smartphone for Rs 27990

Samsung tips huge jump in profit as heir to stand trial

Its preemptive migration to new-generation production technology has cemented preference in Samsung chips over others.

- Critics say his rise through Samsung has been due to his birth, not his business experience. Lee is accused of funneling more than 38 million dollars to entities controlled by former President Park Geun-hye's confidante Choi Soon-sil in exchange for support for a 2015 merger of two Samsung affiliates that was deemed critical to cementing Lee's succession to the top of Samsung Group.

Lee sought Park's help in maximizing his control of the Samsung companies at the lowest possible cost, he added. The South Korean tech giant commands unrivaled leadership in global dynamic random access memory (DRAM) chip market.

Special Prosecutor Park Young-Soo said in his opening statement that Lee's case is "one of the most deep-rooted and typical cases involving unhealthy relations between politicians and businessmen".

"The defendant, Jay Y. Lee, didn't even know that the contribution was made, because that's not part of his job", his lawyer, Song Wu-cheol, told the court. A ruling is expected by late May. "It was not for transferring power". But it eventually went through after the national pension fund - a major Samsung shareholder - approved it.

More news: Christians head out for Good Friday services

For Samsung, a conviction could hurt Lee's stature as future leader of the company founded by his grandfather.

Prosecutors blamed close ties between the government and big business for the scandal that toppled Park and has implicated dozens of other people at a number of chaebol, or big business conglomerates. That overshadowed Samsung reporting quarterly profit of almost $9 billion - its highest in more than three years - and the start of pre-orders in South Korea for its newest flagship smartphone.

The groups have increasingly become objects of public scorn as criticisms mount over their management practices, including rapid promotions for family members - some of whose antics have battered the firms' reputations.

The South Korean company was founded by Mr Lee's grandfather and he is widely expected to take over the reigns as chairman.

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