[JURIST] South Korean prosecutors on Thursday charged Samsung [corporate website] Chairman and CEO Kun-Hee Lee [corporate profile] with breach of trust and tax evasion, but decided not to charge him based on accusations that Samsung maintained a $200 million slush fund to bribe prosecutors, judges and civil servants. Nine other Samsung executives were indicted on similar charges, but none have been arrested. Prosecutors questioned Lee [JURIST report] earlier this month. The New York Times has more. BBC News has additional coverage.
Samsung, South Korea's largest corporation, has been the center of numerous legal battles over the past few years. In May 2007, a South Korean appellate court upheld the conviction of two Samsung executives connected with illegal stock trading [JURIST reports]. In April 2007, another Samsung executive pleaded guilty [US DOJ press release; JURIST report] to US charges of conspiring to artificially inflate the cost of Dynamic Random Access Memory (DRAM), affecting the price of personal computers worldwide. In 2005, Samsung reached an agreement [JURIST report] with the US Department of Justice to plead guilty to charges that it conspired with other technology companies to fix prices on DRAM chips.