SEOUL – Three top executives quit on Tuesday after the recent ‘Samsung Scandal’ where they were indicted on charges including bribery and embezzlement, pakistantribe.com reported.
Three of the five — but not Lee — resigned their positions, said the conglomerate of which Samsung Electronics is the flagship. It added that it was “dismantling” its Future Strategy Office, the co-ordinating body that oversees major decisions such as acquisitions or entering new business.
The move, described as a “reform plan”, was announced in a brief five-line statement emailed minutes after the indictment.
Lee, 48, has effectively been at the helm of the conglomerate since his father suffered a heart attack in 2014.
Among other allegations, he is accused of paying nearly $40 million in bribes to a confidante of President Park’s to secure policy favours. Lee — who is also accused of concealing stolen assets — has denied all charges.
His colleagues face similar charges except for the perjury count.
The indictment came as the special prosecutors — who were appointed in December — were set to hand back the case to state prosecutors Wednesday after the government rejected a request to extend their probe.
During their term the special prosecutors indicted a total of 29 suspects — 16 of them on Tuesday — including an ex-arts minister and former presidential chief of staff.
The special prosecutors’ spokesman Lee said it would be up to the state prosecutors to probe other South Korean conglomerates, including Hyundai Motor and retail giant Lotte Group.
The scandal centres on Choi Soon-Sil, who is accused of using her close ties with President Park to force local firms to “donate” nearly $70 million to non-profit foundations, which Choi allegedly used for personal gain.