Jay Y. Lee, denies all charges against him which are connected to the impeachment of President Park Geun-hye.
Lee, who is being detained at Seoul Detention Centre, did not attend court. A defendant does not have to turn up during a preparatory hearing, held to organize evidence and set dates for witness testimony.
Lee’s defence said that the special prosecution’s indictment cites conversations, evidence or witnesses the prosecution did not actually hear, investigate or interview according to the rules – or state opinions that are not facts.
Song Wu-cheol, defending Lee, told the court that it was unclear what kind of order Lee is supposed to have given.
“The indictment cannot have statements that can create prejudices in the court about the case,” Song told reporters as he left court.
The Samsung Group has repeatedly denied wrongdoing.
Among the charges against Lee, 48, are pledging bribes to a company and organisations linked to a friend of President Park, Choi Soon-sil, the woman at the centre of the scandal, to cement his control of the smartphones-to-biopharmaceuticals business empire.
Defendants being tried with Lee include the former Samsung Group Vice Chairman Choi Gee-sung, former Samsung Group President Chang Choong-ki and former Samsung Electronics President Park Sang-jin. They are also denying everything.
Legislation appointing the special prosecutor states that the current lower court trial should be finished within three months of the indictment on February 28.