Samsung heir apparent questioned over secret meeting with President Park as South Korea’s political scandal continues
Last week, the headquarters of Samsung Electronics in Seoul’s upscale Gangnam district was raided by prosecutors as they look into one of the biggest political scandals that South Korea has ever seen. The raid was conducted after reports in local media that Samsung has given millions of euro to a foundation run by a “shaman adviser” and a long-time personal friend of President Park Geun-hye. The Supreme Prosecutors’ Office has now hauled in some of the top business tycoons in the country over their alleged meetings with the president in connection with this scandal, of the tycoons summoned for a chat was Samsung heir apparent Lee Jae-yong who was reportedly questioned well into the night on November 13 over Samsung’s alleged involvement.
Local media reports suggest that the prosecution asked Lee about this closed-door meeting with President Park Geun-hye in late July last year. They apparently got done with the questioning around 2 am on November 14. Lee and other top business tycoons are said to have had private meetings with President Park before her close confidant Choi Soon-sil launched a couple of shady foundations.
The conglomerates are believed to have been pressured into giving money to these foundations which were established under the guise of supporting the sport and culture sectors of South Korea. A combined 80 billion won (US$68.60 million) was reportedly given by some of the top business concerns in the country to support the foundations. Most of the funds contributed by Samsung are said to have been used to buy equestrian fields, horses and equipment for Choi’s daughter Chung Yu-ra.
Samsung hasn’t really given its view on the matter following the raid on its headquarters and subsequent questioning of its newest board member, but the company has previously said that it’s going to “fully co-operate with the investigation.”