South Korean Court Mulls Fresh Bid to Ar­rest Sam­sung Heir

The Economic Times - - Around The World -

Seoul: The scion of South Korean gi­ant Sam­sung ap­peared in court on Thurs­day as judges de­lib­er­ate a sec­ond at­tempt by prose­cu­tors to ar­rest him over a cor­rup­tion scan­dal em­broil­ing im­peached Pres­i­dent Park Geun-Hye. Lee Jae-Yong, Sam­sung Elec­tron­ics vice chair­man, is ac­cused of pay­ing nearly $40 mil­lion in bribes to Park’s se­cret con­fi­dante to se­cure pol­icy favours.

The 48-year-old ap­peared grim­faced as he en­tered the Seoul court­house on Thurs­day with­out an­swer­ing ques­tions from hordes of re­porters as pro­tes­tors chanted “Ar­rest him!” nearby, ac­cord­ing to tele­vi­sion footage. He avoided be­ing ar­rested dur­ing hear­ings last month, af­ter the court ruled there was in­suf­fi­cient ev­i­dence. But prose­cu­tors on Tues­day made a sec­ond bid for his ar­rest, say­ing they have col­lected more ev­i­dence in re­cent weeks. Lee, the son of Sam­sung group chair­man Lee Kun-Hee, would face im­me­di­ate in­car­cer­a­tion at a de­ten­tion cen­tre for those await­ing trial, if the court opts to is­sue the ar­rest war­rant.

The scan­dal cen­tres on Choi SoonSil, who is ac­cused of us­ing her close ties with Park to force lo­cal firms to “do­nate” nearly $70 mil­lion to non­profit foun­da­tions which Choi al­legedly used for per­sonal gain.

Sam­sung is also ac­cused of sep­a­rately giv­ing mil­lions of eu­ros to Choi to bankroll her daugh­ter’s eques­tri­antrain­ing­inGer­many.

Lee Jae-Yong

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