Samsung Group supreme dalek Jay Y. Lee will go on trial for bribery and embezzlement next week a court ruled in what will be the latest episode in a corruption scandal that has rocked South Korea and led to the impeachment of the president.
Lee, the 48 year old third generation leader of the country’s top conglomerate, was indicted on Tuesday on charges including pledging $37.24 million in payments to a confidant of President Park Geun-hye.
The trial is important on many levels. If Lee is found guilty there will be a question as to whether he will get away with it because he is the head of a very large corporation.
South Korea is rather soft on corporate leaders who can more or less do what they like. The country is not that happy about jailing people who are believed to be good for the economy.
Lee has been charged with bribery and embezzlement in a case that has dealt a blow to the standard bearer for Asia’s fourth largest economy.
Among the charges against Lee are pledging bribes to a company and organisations tied to Park’s confidant, Choi Soon-sil, the woman at the centre of the scandal, to cement his control of the business empire.
The funding also included Samsung’s sponsorship of the equestrian career of Choi’s daughter, prosecutors say. So it looked like Samsung literally backed the wrong horse.
Legislation appointing the special prosecutor states that the trial should be finished in three months.
President Parl was the daughter of a former military strongman, and has had her powers suspended since her impeachment by parliament in December.