World - - Mar 09,2017
Samsung’s de facto head Lee Jae-Yong has been dropped into a trial which has begun in South Korea; the corruption charges include embezzlement and bribery as the prime wrongdoings.
Amid the high-profile political scandal prevailing in South Korea, the trial of Samsung chief has made the matter quite worse.
Lee Jae-Yong is being detained at Seoul Detention Centre and was not present for the preliminary hearing; however, his lawyer opposed all charges on his behalf.
Charges targeting bribery, embezzlement as well as other offenses from the corruption scandal have been imposed on Mr. Lee. This scandal has already led to the impeachment of South Korea’s President Park Geun-hye.
Song Wu-cheol, who is defending Mr. Lee, said, “It is unclear what kind of order [he] is supposed to have given". Further, during a confrontation with reporters, Song said that the accusation cannot have statements which “can create prejudices in the court about the case".
For this particular hearing, the courtroom was packed with the press as well as spectators.
Mr. Lee has been accused of offering donations worth 41bn won ($36m; £29m) to non-profit foundations managed by Choi Soon-sil, a friend of President Park.
The prosecutors have suspected this move was made to acquire government support for a major restructuring of Samsung which would have further caused a smooth transition of leadership favorable for Mr. Lee.
Last week, special prosecutor Park Young-soo told reporters that the authorities are preparing hard, thinking that the Samsung trial can possibly be the “trial of the century”.
Daughter of a former military strongman, President Park, has already been suspended from her powers after her impeachment by the parliament in December.
Park would become the country's first democratically elected president to be removed from office if the Constitutional Court uphold the impeachment. An important decision is already due on Friday.