South Korean Court Mulls Fresh Bid to Arrest Samsung Heir
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.