> Samsung leader Jay Y Lee indicted on a string of criminal charges Tuesday. South Korean prosecutor saying he'll be formally charged with bribery, embezzlement and hiding assets overseas along side four other Samsung group execs, Lee himself will also be charged with perjury before parliament. It all links back to a corruption scandal running all the way to impeached President Park Geun-hye.
Authorities alleged Lee paid bribes to get official support on a 2015 merger that cemented his control of Samsung Group. But as Reuters' Vincent Lee reports the billionaire will be deflecting the blame in a very specific direction.>> In terms of his defense, it seems very clear that he will argue that he did not seek favors or try to pay bribes to get current favors at these points.
It seems what he will argue is that he was instead a victim of coercion from pressure from the president.>> Even though Samsung Group and Lee denied paying millions in alleged bribes, the company announced on Tuesday it will dismantle its corporate strategy office, the nerve center that prosecutors say worked with Lee to payoff the president and her confidant, Choi Soon-sil.
Top execs from that office are among the group charged alongside Lee. Now Samsung's divisions will steer themselves.>> In terms of short term operations, they have a lot of professional managers in charge at the various affiliates. In the medium to long term, some key decisions like major investments into new businesses or major acquisitions may get delayed as a result of Lee actually being detained and potentially facing a prison term.
>> Meanwhile the special prosecutors office is set to reveal the outcome of its probe into President Park next week. The case against her will be handed over to regular prosecutors while she remains a suspect. An official say other South Korean corporate giants beyond Samsung may be pulled into the scandal.