Arrest warrant sought for Samsung vice chairman Lee Jae-yong
Samsung’s top leadership has been grilled extensively by special prosecutors in South Korea who are investigating allegations of bribery and corruption to gain influence through Choi Soon-sil, a close personal friend of President Park Geun-hye who has now been impeached. Samsung is accused of having given more than $25 million in bribes to foundations and companies run by Choi Soon-sil in exchange for influence.
Prosecutors recently questioned Samsung vice chairman Lee Jae-yong for 22 hours about his company’s role in the scandal. He has already denied bribery allegations in an appearance before the country’s parliament last month. South Korea’s special prosecutor said that they would also take into account the potential economic impact of arresting Lee Jae-yong and it appears that they’re convinced that it would be manageable which is why they have now sought an arrest warrant for the Samsung vice chairman.
The warrant has to be approved by a South Korean court before it can be used to arrest him. This will enable the special prosecutors to continue with their investigation while Lee Jae-yong is detained. It doesn’t necessarily mean formal charges will be filed and an indictment will follow. The court is going to conduct a hearing on Wednesday to decide on the matter of approving the warrant.
Samsung has not yet commented on this latest development.