Former Samsung Group Vice Chairman Lee Hak-soo was present as a witness at the appeals trial for former President Lee Myung-bak (MB) to decide the authenticity of bribery charges.
Ex-vice Chairman Lee appeared as a witness at former President Lee's appeals trial held at the hearing of the Seoul High Court on March 27 to explain how Samsung paid DAS's U.S. lawsuit fee.
"Kim, a lawyer for the U.S. law firm "Akin Gump," who took over the DAS case in the U.S., came to me in 2007 when Lee was a presidential candidate," he explained.
He then testified that he was told by Kim that Kim was working with a lawyer, identified only by his surname Eun, at Lee's camp, and that Kim wanted Samsung to pay for his legal assistance work in the U.S.
"I had to tell Chairman Lee Kun-hee because it was requested by the presidential candidate," he said. "When I told Chairman Lee that I received this request, the chairman replied with the intention of doing so," he said.
Regarding the money Samsung was asked for at the time, ex-vice chairman Lee said, "It was a request from the presidential camp, not an individual named Kim. There is nothing for Samsung to help an individual Kim," he also said.
"If a presidential candidate makes or Cheong Wa Dae makes such a request, it is usually difficult for the company to reject it," he said. "We have no choice but to help because we are asked, and if we help, we think that it will help the company in many ways."
He also said that he considered the possibility of Lee winning the presidential election when funding the project at that time.