Seoul – Samsung Group leader Jay Lee will go on trial for bribery and embezzlement on March 9, a court said, amid a corruption scandal that 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 charges including pledging 37.24 million dollars in payments to a confidant of President Park Geun-hye.
“We are preparing hard, thinking that the upcoming Samsung trial could be the trial of the century that the entire world will be watching,” special prosecutor Park Young-soo said.
The Samsung scion’s hearing will be held in a court that can accommodate more than 150 people, according to the Seoul Central District Court’s database.
Lee, who was arrested on Feb. 17, was charged with bribery and embezzlement in a case that has dealt a blow to the standard bearer for Asia’s fourth-largest economy.
Samsung Group declined to comment but has denied wrongdoing.
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 Smartphone-to-biopharmaceuticals Business Empire.
The funding also included Samsung’s sponsorship of the equestrian career of Choi’s daughter, prosecutors say.
Legislation appointing the special prosecutor states that the trial should be finished in three months.