Samsung chief arrested as South Korea corruption scandal widens

World - Mohit Shah - Feb 17,2017

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samsung chief arrested as south korea corruption scandal widens

According to a South Korean court, Samsung Group chief Jay Y. Lee got arrested on Friday over his alleged contribution in the grave corruption scandal prevailing in the country.

In a second attempt, South Korea’s special prosecutors have successfully arrested Samsung chief Jay Y. Lee, who is involved in the high-profile bribery scandal which also includes suspended President Park Geun-hye as well as her secret confidante.

Samsung's vice chairman was taken into custody at the Seoul Detention Center.

This decision was taken following a day-long closed-door hearing which ended on Thursday evening.

On Tuesday, the special prosecutors had requested a warrant for arresting Lee and another top executive from Samsung over bribery and other charges. This action was taken as new evidence were collected in connection with the corruption scandal.

"We acknowledge the cause and necessity of the arrest," was stated by a judge in his ruling, referring to additional claims and evidence.

The primary allegation against Lee includes a sum of $37.31 million (43 billion won) offered to businesses and organizations operated by President Park’s secret confidante, Choi Soon-sil. This bribe was in exchange for sanction of a controversial $8 billion unification of two Samsung companies in 2015. However, Lee and other Samsung executives have refused these accusations.

However, during a parliamentary hearing in December, Lee admitted offering $17.46 million (20.4 billion won) to the two foundations, apparently linked to Choi, but rubbished claims of seeking any kind of favor in return. He also accepted providing a sum of money along with a horse to help the career of Choi’s daughter.

The investigations focused on Samsung's relationship with Park, who was charged in December and later stripped of her powers. Presently, the Constitutional Court is yet to decide whether to sustain her impeachment or not.