Samsung Head Facing Arrest

Caught up in Korean President’s scandal
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Caught up in Korean President’s scandal

Samsung vice chairman Jay Y. Lee, the son of the company’s chairman Lee Kun-he, is facing criminal charges in the ongoing investigation into crimes allegedly committed by South Korean President Park Geun-hye.

Prosecutors were seeking the arrest of the de facto head of Samsung on charges that he bribed the president and a close associate.

A closed-door court proceeding yesterday yielded no action, but a decision on whether to issue the arrest warrant will likely be announced early Friday morning.

Lee is accused of giving bribes worth $36 million to Geun-hye and an associate to win government favors.

He is also under investigation for alleged embezzlement, financial irregularities and lying under oath to the Korean parliament.

Lee took over day-to-day operations of Samsung after his father stepped back because of health issues in 2014.

Samsung has denied all charges.

Dozens of protesters opposing and supporting Lee's arrest demonstrated outside the courthouse.

According to reports, Samsung gave $38 million to a non-profit foundation controlled by Geun-hye's associate Choi Soon-sil. The implication is that the payments were made to smooth the regulatory process for transferring Samsung's ownership from father to son.

 “We have enough evidence to establish President Park and Choi Soon-sil as co-conspirators sharing profits, said Lee Kyu-chul, a spokesman of the special prosecutor.


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