World Bulletin / News Desk
Lee was formally charged Tuesday when investigators looking into a massive presidential scandal wrapped up their probe.
Impeached President Park Geun-hye was named as a bribery suspect but Lee was among 30 related figures to be formally indicted.
The Samsung vice chairman stands accused of paying tens of billions of dollars to ensure state support for a merger seen as smoothing a power succession from his ailing father, Chairman Lee Kun-hee.
“The upcoming trials on Samsung and the blacklist will be trials of the century that the world will be looking at. We are bracing ourselves for them,” the special prosecutor said according to local news agency Yonhap.
The blacklist refers to a separate allegation concerning officials suspected of targeting artists deemed critical of the president.
Lee’s trial will reportedly begin with a preparatory session next Thursday afternoon at Seoul Central District Court, which issued a warrant for the Samsung chief’s arrest after turning down an initial detention request in January.
Samsung has been hit particularly hard by the scandal which has prompted months of mass street rallies calling for the president’s resignation -- four other company executives will also stand trial.
The president herself will learn her immediate fate when the Constitutional Court rules on her impeachment by March 13.
State investigators can only prosecute her directly once she leaves office.