Lee Jae-yong, acting head of Samsung, has been formally charged by South Korean prosecutors. The charges relate to the bizarre and far-reaching scandal that has seen the country’s President Park Geun-hye impeached.
“Special prosecutors today indicted Samsung Electronics vice chairman Lee Jae-yong… for bribery, embezzlement, hiding of assets overseas… and perjury,” said Lee Kyu-Chul, spokesman for the prosecutors probing the Park scandal. Among other things, Lee is charged with paying $40 million to a foundation controlled by a close aide of Park, Choi Soon-sil. In return, he is said to have sought favorable treatment of corporate affairs relating to the control of Samsung by Lee’s family.
Lee, who has headed the electronics to insurance conglomerate since his father’s illness in 2014, has denied the charges. Four other executives face similar charges.
The giant company was last year the world’s leading producer of smart phones, ahead of Apple. It also makes many of the semiconductors that power other brands of phones. Last year it suffered another major embarrassment when several of its Galaxy Note 7 flagship phone caught fire. The company recalled the phones but failed to fully correct the problem and had to withdraw the model from the market. It later blamed batteries made by a third party manufacturer.
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Written By: Tommy Lightfoot Garrett
Photographs are Courtesy: AP
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