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South Korean prosecutors indict five executives with Samsung



South Korea’s special prosecutor’s office has indicted Samsung Group chief and four other executives with the company for bribery and embezzlement at the end of a probe into a scandal involving President Park Geun-hye.

Lee Kyu-chul, a spokesman for the special prosecutor’s office, made the announcement on Tuesday, the last day of the investigation.

The Samsung Group’s de facto head, Lee Jae-yong, known professionally as Jay Y. Lee, who was indicted, has already been arrested and is awaiting trial.

The prosecutor’s office spokesman added that Lee will also be charged with committing perjury before parliament, where he previously appeared to testify in the case.

The spokesman said the other four Samsung executives indicted were Vice Chairman Choi Gee-sung, President Chang Choong-ki, Samsung Electronics Co Ltd President Park Sang-jin, and Executive Vice President Hwang Sung-soo.

People walk past a building of Samsung Electronics in Seoul, South Korea, February 28, 2017. (Photo by Reuters)

“Regarding charges over bribery, President Park will probably be indicted as a suspect for a related part,” the spokesman said. This is while under the South Korean constitution, a sitting president cannot be charged or prosecuted.

He also hinted at the possibility that other conglomerates may become involved in the probe, too.

Allegations that President Park allowed a friend without security clearance to interfere in government affairs and colluded with her to extort money from private firms like Samsung have led to the president’s impeachment by the parliament. That parliamentary decision is now subject to a ruling by the country’s Constitutional Court, and the president’s political fate hangs on the latter ruling.

President Park and Samsung Group have denied the accusations.

While the Constitutional Court deliberates on whether or not to uphold the parliamentary impeachment vote, Park remains stripped of her executive powers but in possession of her title.

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