Kim Sung-tae, the former chairman of Ssangbeol Group, who was arrested and charged with embezzling 538.800 billion won in money and transferring $11 million to North Korea, denied most of the charges in his first trial.

However, the government did not disclose its specific position on the allegations of bribery and violation of the Political Finance Act against former Gyeonggi Province Vice Governor Lee Hwa-yong, as well as the allegations of remittances to North Korea related to the former vice governor, saying, "The relevant trials and investigations are currently ongoing."

During the trial, which was held before the Criminal Division 5 of the Suwon District Law (presiding judge Shin Jin-woo), Kim and Yang Sun-gil denied the charges, saying, "The basic position of the defendants is that they have no intention of illegally obtaining money and cannot legally be regarded as an act of embezzlement."

Former Chairman Kim Sung-tae, who appeared in a shroud, also asked the court for an opportunity to speak.

"Yang Sun-gil (who was indicted together) and Kim Mo, the former head of the Finance and Economics Division, are cousins, brothers, and brothers-in-law, respectively, and all of them worked under my direction, so I bear all the responsibility," Kim said, adding, "Many people in the company were arrested and searched. I ask the court to take this into account."

Former Chairman Kim is accused of embezzling 538.11 billion won of funds from five privately held companies (paper companies) set up in the name of executives and employees of Ssangbeol Group, and of improperly providing about 40.26 billion won to group affiliates.

Former Chairman Kim's lawyer displayed the PPT materials he had prepared in advance on the screen and explained in detail for about 1 minutes the purpose of denying each charge.

Today's (6th) trial ended in about one hour.

For the time being, the court will hold hearings on former Chairman Kim and others every Friday.

The next court hearing is scheduled for June 2, and witness testimony will be heard against the employees of the Sangbeol Group.