On Tuesday, local authorities in Seoul, South Korea laid formal charges against Samsung Electronics vice chairman Lee Jae-yong, as well as four other Samsung executives.
Prosecutors charged Lee with multiple offences, including bribery, embezzlement and perjury. However, his most notable alleged misdemeanor involves reportedly paying $36 million USD in bribes to Choi Soon-sil, a close confidant of Park Geun-Hye, South Korea’s disgraced president. With formal charges now laid against him, the Samsung heir will almost certainly face a trial. Lee’s arrest is seen as a critical step toward formalizing the impeachment of Park.
“Special prosecutors today indicted Samsung Electronics vice chairman Lee Jae-Yong… for bribery, embezzlement, hiding of assets overseas… and perjury,” said Lee Kyu-Chul, the spokesperson for the team of prosecutors leading the case against Lee Jae-Yong and Park Guen-Hye.
Lee has been the defacto head of Samsung since his father, Kun-kee, suffered a heart attack in 2014.