Sam­sung Heir Re­turned to Prose­cu­tors for 2nd Day

The Economic Times - - Around The World -

Seoul: Sam­sung Group’s Jay Y. Lee was taken back to a spe­cial prose­cu­tor’s of­fice for a sec­ond day fol­low­ing an­other night in po­lice cus­tody as part of a corruption probe that has widened to in­clude South Korea’s largest in­dus­trial con­glom­er­ate. Lee, vice chair­man of Sam­sung Elec­tron­ics Co., was shown on a YTN tele­vi­sion broad­cast be­ing led into the of­fice in Seoul around 9:50 a.m. lo­cal time. Lee was in­side the of­fice for about eight hours the day be­fore. On Fri­day, the Seoul Cen­tral Dis­trict Court ar­rested Lee on a war­rant in­clud­ing al­le­ga­tions of bribery, per­jury, em­bez­zle­ment, hid­ing as­sets abroad and con­ceal­ing il­le­gal prof­its.

Lee has been the act­ing head of Sam­sung while his fa­ther, Sam­sung Elec­tron­ics Co. Chair­man Lee Kun Hee, has been hos­pi­tal­ized since 2014. The probe could even­tu­ally in­ter­fere with the son’s abil­ity to take full con­trol of the group after his fa­ther for­mally steps down.

As head of a con­glom­er­ate that is the world’s largest maker of smartphones, Lee is the high­est-pro­file busi­ness fig­ure yet ac­cused in an in­flu­ence-ped­dling scan­dal that has al­ready seen Pres­i­dent Park Ge­un­hye im­peached. Prose­cu­tors have cited ev­i­dence that Sam­sung paid bribes to a con­fi­dante of the pres­i­dent to en­sure gov­ern­ment sup­port for a 2015 merger of af­fil­i­ates that tight­ened Lee’s grip on the chae­bol, as Korea’s dom­i­nant busi­ness groups are called. The probe is part of a broader in­ves­ti­ga­tion into contributions that dozens of Korean com­pa­nies gave to Choi Soon-sil, a con­fi­dante of Park.

Jay Y Lee

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