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Samsung’s de facto leader Lee Jae-yong has denied all charges against him in connection with the alleged influence-peddling and bribery scandal poised to topple the South Korean President.

At the opening of a hearing against Mr Lee, his lawyers denied all charges, which include bribery and embezzlement. Mr Lee, the 48-year-old head of the South Korean conglomerate’s electronics business, was not present at the preparatory hearing.

Mr Lee was arrested last month on evidence alleging his connection to a sprawling corruption scandal in the country that looks set to bring down President Park Geun-hye. Mr Lee is the most high-profile business figure to be engulfed by the scandal.

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