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Lee's lawyer has steered media inquiries to Samsung, whose spokeswoman did not have any immediate comment about the appeal.

The verdict is expected to have a profound impact on the trial of ex-President Park Geun-hye and her confidante Choi Soon-sil, who are accused of soliciting the bribes from Samsung.

Payments were said to include $6.4m in supporting the equestrian career of Choi's daughter.

Wi also raised objections to Lee's monthly wage of 159 million won, saying he saw no reason why Lee should receive a higher salary than Samsung Electronics CEO Kwon Oh-hyun, who took 156 million won per month, in the first half of this year.

Park was removed from office in March.

A Seoul Central District Court judge delivering its ruling on bribery and other charges after a six-month trial in a scandal that triggered Park's impeachment and ouster, also found Lee guilty of hiding assets overseas and perjury.

Südkorea Park Guen-hye

Samsung heir Lee Jae-yong has filed an appeal following the five-year prison term he was handed last week.

A hasty attempt to trade Chung's horse for another to hide the paper trail when the scandal unraveled in autumn previous year was ruled as aiding Choi's attempts to conceal criminal proceeds.

"In response to the president's active demands, it seems that Samsung Group passively offered bribes", the court said, adding such requests were made during three one-on-one meetings between Park and Lee.

Park's relationship with Choi and her father Choi Tae-min has always been controversial in Korea.

Lee's imprisonment as an "unprecedented challenge" and encouraged staff to continue working hard as they wait for "the truth to come to light". The court ruled that tapping into the publicly traded company's funds to raise the W8 billion constituted embezzlement, and W3.7 billion of that money was illegally transferred to Germany, where Chung was living. Lee has two sisters, but neither has been heavily involved in Samsung Electronics, which is widely regarded as the center of the Samsung empire. "As Lee was found guilty of bribery, Park is likely to be convicted, too", Kim Nam-geun, a lawyer belonging to a left-wing civic group the People's Solidarity for Participatory Democracy, told The Korea Herald.

"As a legal professional, I can not possibly accept any part of the lower court's guilty verdicts", said Song Wu-cheol, lead defense attorney, who added, "I am confident that the appeals court will definitely find the defendants not guilty on all counts". Two other former executives received suspended prison terms. Among those 10 giants, the leaders of six have been convicted of white-collar crimes, with many being pardoned or having had their sentences commuted.