Last month, a warrant was issued for the arrest of Samsung heir Jay Y Lee. The arrest had been based on claims that Jay Y Lee had been involved in bribery, perjury, and embezzlement.
South Korea’s impeached President, Park Guen-hye, had been under fire for her involvement with Choi Soon-sil whom the Samsung heir was alleged to have paid the sum of $36 million in bribes to.
Fears were rife that the indictment of the heir of the world’s biggest smartphone maker would worsen the already shaky economic state of the country but the special prosecutors pursuing the case felt that justice still needed to be served.
On Tuesday, South Korean prosecutors said that the Samsung heir and four other top executives from Samsung were indicted on multiple charges including bribery and embezzlement.
Lee Kyu-Chul, the spokesman for the team probing the corruption and power abuse scandal that has seen President Park Geun-Hye impeached, said;
“Special prosecutors today indicted Samsung Electronics vice chairman Lee Jae-Yong… for bribery, embezzlement, hiding of assets overseas… and perjury,”
With the formal charges now laid upon them, Jay Y Lee and the other top executives are almost sure to face trial. Such a trial will likely hinder, severely, Samsung’s ability to recover from the recent spate of setbacks that has included a global recall of their flagship phone, the Samsung Galaxy Note 7.
Jay Y Lee has been at the helm of Samsung’s affairs ever since his father suffered a heart attack in 2014. Jay Y Lee has denied all the charges leveled against him but the arrest which is a first for any person occupying the position of Samsung chief has dealt a huge blow to the electronics giant’s corporate image.
The scandal that the Samsung heir has gotten himself involved in is centred on Choi Soon-Sil, who is accused of using her close ties with President Park to force local firms to “donate” nearly $70 million to non-profit foundations, which she then allegedly used for personal gain. Samsung was the biggest donor to the foundations.