Jay Y Lee, the head of South Korea’s Samsung Group, is denying all the bribery, embezzlement and other charges in a corruption scandal.
The denial came came from Lee’s lawyer at the start of his trial which is part of the influence peddling allegations against South Korea’s President Park Geun-hye.
During a preliminary hearing, which Lee did not attend, the defence challenged prosecution claims that he had given orders for bribes to be paid.
In his only public statement, in January, Lee said: “I apologise to the South Korean people for revealing something which is not positive through this incident.”
The prosecution case is that Lee and other top Samsung executives paid money as bribes to a close friend and adviser to the president.
It is alleged that was done to get government support for a big restructuring of South Korea’s biggest company that made it easier for Lee to take full control.
The trial is expected to last three months.
Lee is not the only powerful business leader ensnared by the investigation.
Chung Mong-Koo, the chairman of the Hyundai Motor Group, is among the heads of South Korea’s top companies questioned over the corruption scandal.