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Samsung Scandal Is Heading To The Fall Of A President

The Samsung bribery scandal may cost former South Korean President Park Geun-hye her position permanently, and perhaps jail time.

A special prosecutor, after a three-month investigation, has asked prosecutors to indict Park on charges of accepting about $38 million in bribes from Samsung.

The indictment would follow that of Samsung vice-chairman Lee Jae-yong last month.

Lee allegedly paid the money to secure government support of a merger of two Samsung affiliates that helped him take control of the entire Samsung conglomerate.

Park was impeached by the country’s parliament in December over the scandal.

According to the prosecutor’s office, Park directed the government-controlled National Pension Service, a major shareholder of the two Samsung affiliates, to vote for the merger despite the opposition of minority shareholders.

South Korea’s highest court is expected to rule in the coming weeks whether Park should be reinstated or formally removed from office. Korea’s constitution stipulates that presidents cannot be indicted while serving, so a formal indictment would be delayed until the end of her term next February, unless the court ends her term early.

“Samsung has not paid bribes nor made improper requests seeking favors. … Future court proceedings will reveal the truth,” the company said in a statement.