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In Relation to Suspicion of Bribery, Samsung’s Lee is to be Summoned Again by South Korea Prosecutors


02/12/2017


In Relation to Suspicion of Bribery, Samsung’s Lee is to be Summoned Again by South Korea Prosecutors
As the Samsung Group investigates a graft scandal that has engulfed the country's president, the group scion Jay Y. Lee will be questioned again on suspicion of bribery on Monday, said the South Korea's special prosecutor.
 
While a court rejected a warrant to arrest him in the inquiry into a scandal that led parliament to impeach President Park Geun-hye, special prosecution officials questioned 48-year-old Lee for more than 22 hours straight last month.
 
Lee, the de facto head of the Samsung Group and vice chairman of Samsung Electronics Co., will be summoned Monday morning.

A decision by the office, on whether to again seek an arrest warrant for Lee after he is questioned on Monday, would be taken later, said Lee Kyu-chul, a spokesman for the special prosecutor at a news briefing.
 
The spokesperson said that on Monday, two other executives of Samsung, the country's largest conglomerate, would also be questioned in this regards by the special prosecution team. The spokesperson added, since the court rejected the earlier application for an arrest warrant, the special prosecution had investigated further during the three weeks.
 
"We are summoning Jay Y. Lee to check with him on our further findings," Lee, the spokesman, said on Sunday.
 
There were no comments made on the issue by a spokeswoman for Samsung Group.
 
It has been alleged that in exchange for support by the state pension fund for the controversial merger of two Samsung affiliates in 2015, Samsung pledged to provide 43 billion won ($37.54 million) to a business and foundations backed by President Park's friend, Choi Soon-sil, and the prosecutors have been investigating whether this deal was made by between the two parties.
 
Sponsorship for the equestrian career of Choi's daughter is included in the funding. And after being sought by South Korean authorities, she is under arrest in Denmark.
 
The accusations on the bribery case have been denied by Samsung and President Park.
 
In order to decide whether to uphold parliament's impeachment of Park, who has been stripped of her powers pending the verdict, South Korea's Constitutional Court is hearing arguments in this case.
 
Park Sang-jin, a Samsung Electronics Co Ltd president and Hwang Sung-soo, a senior company official are two other executives of the company who are also facing questioning by the prosecutors in this case.
 
Both have previously been questioned in the case  and are also office-bearers of the Korea Equestrian Federation.
 
Saying there wasn’t enough evidence to keep Lee in jail based on the facts presented about alleged payments and other charges, a Seoul court rejected prosecutors’ requests to arrest Lee on Jan. 19.
 
With some major management plans already being delayed, the succession plans at Samsung would be potentially derailed by a prolonged investigation into the latest political scandal surrounding Park and the country’s large business groups.
 
Samsung Group has consistently denied allegations that it provided financial aid to Park confidant Choi Soon-sil in return for political favors including the government’s support for the merger between Cheil Industries Inc. and Samsung C&T Corp and the group overseas nearly 60 affiliate companies from electronics to insurance and pharmaceuticals.
 
(Source:www.reuters.com & www.bloomberg.com)