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South Korea: arrest warrant sought for Samsung's de facto chief

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By Euronews  with Reuters
South Korea: arrest warrant sought for Samsung's de facto chief

South Korean tech giant Samsung has refused to accept accusations its de facto leader is embroiled in a corruption scandal involving the country’s president.

The special prosecutors’ office is seeking the arrest of following 22-straight-hours of questioning last week.

Lee Jae-yong, also known as Jay Y Lee, is accused of paying the equivalent of some 34 million euros to business leader Choi Soon-sil and two foundations she heads in return for political favours from her confidante, President Park Guen-hye.

The prosecutor’s office alleges the money represented bribes from Samsung.

Choi has repeatedly denied accusations of colluding with Park to pressure big businesses, including Samsung, to contribute to non-profit organisations which back the president’s initiatives.

Prosecutors are investigating whether Samsung’s support for such companies may have been linked to the National Pension Service’s (NPD) 2015 decision to support the merger of two Samsung Group affiliates.

Samsung denies lobbying to push through the merger.

NPS Chairman Moon Hyung-pyo has been charged with abuse of power and giving false testimony.

Who is where?

Choi is in detention and on trial on charges of abuse of power and attempted fraud. Park has been stripped of her powers while a decision is taken on whether to force her from office.

A court decision on whether to issue an arrest warrant for Lee is expected on Wednesday (January 18).