Business

Samsung heir Lee Jae-yong will be indicted on bribery and other charges

Samsung Electronics vice chairman and heir to the conglomerate Lee Jae-yong has had a tough few weeks. He was recently arrested on charges of bribery as part of South Korea’s influence-peddling scandal. He’s accused of doling out millions of dollars in bribes to win the government’s support for a 2015 merger between two Samsung affiliates. South Korea’s special prosecutor has confirmed today that Lee Jae-yong will be indicted on bribery and other charges which include embezzlement and concealing of assets abroad.

An indictment is a formal charge against someone who is accused of doing something that’s against the law. There’s no assumption of guilt associated with an indictment because a trial will follow in order to ascertain the truth but it goes to show that the special prosecutor’s office is convinced that it has a strong enough case against the Samsung leader.

This causes a few problems for Samsung, to say the least. Lee Jae-yong has already been behind bars for a couple of weeks and his absence has left a leadership vacuum at South Korea’s most powerful conglomerate. An indictment means that there will be a trial which could take several years to wrap up and all the while Lee Jae-yong will remain behind bars, unable to enjoy the comforts that his position in life afford him or lead Samsung’s day-to-day operations from headquarters in Seoul.

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