the 48-year-old third-generation leader of the country's top
conglomerate, was indicted on Tuesday on charges including
pledging 43 billion won ($37.24 million) 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 told reporters.
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 court 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 organizations tied to Park's confidant, Choi Soon-sil, the
woman at the center of the scandal, to cement his control of the
smartphones-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.
President Park, 65, daughter of a former military strongman, has
had her powers suspended since her impeachment by parliament in
Should the Constitutional Court uphold the impeachment, she
would become the country's first democratically elected
president to be thrown out of office.
A decision is expected this month.
(Reporting by Ju-min Park, additional reporting by Se Young Lee,
Editing by Nick Macfie)
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