April 23, 2017

Samsung's boss questioned again over influence-peddling

14 February 2017, 12:45 | Clarence Schmidt

S. Korea Investigators to Again Summon Samsung Heir

Conservatives rally against Park impeachment trial

A special prosecutor will again summon Samsung Group's Jay Y Lee over allegations including bribery and embezzlement, potentially dealing another blow to South Korea's biggest business empire after a court rejected its request to issue an arrest warrant last month.

"I will once again tell the truth", Mr Lee told reporters before the hearing.

But since his father, Lee Kun-hee, suffered a heart attack in 2014, he is considered de facto boss of the entire Samsung Group conglomerate.

Previously, investigators sought an arrest warrant for Lee, but a court denied the request based on insufficient evidence.

Conservatives rally against Park impeachment trial

The head of Samsung, who first gave evidence in front of a parliamentary hearing in December previous year, admitted giving $17.46 million (20.4 billion won) to the two foundations.

The prosecution also believes there was a meeting involving Lee and Samsung Electronics chief executive Park Sang-jin on July 27, 2016.

Lee also confirmed the company gave a horse and money to help the equestrian career of Choi's daughter but said he now regretted that.

Proving illicit dealings between Park or those linked to her and Samsung Group is critical for the special prosecutor's case that ultimately targets Park, analysts have said. Samsung is alleged to have given huge donations to foundations controlled by President Park's now-jailed confidante Choi Soon-sil, in return for political support for the controversial merger of two Samsung affiliates, which cemented Lee Jae-yong's succession as head of the tech giant.

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