Samsung chief questioned for the second time over corruption claims

World - Mohit Shah - Feb 13,2017

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samsung chief questioned for the second time over corruption claims

Samsung chief Lee Jae-yong has been investigated as a suspect for the second time in South Korea's largest political corruption scandal.

The firm is accused of providing donations to non-profit foundations operated by a confidante of President Park Geun-hye involving a give-and-take for political favors.

Based on the hearing, prosecutors would be soon deciding whether they would request for an arrest warrant for Mr. Lee.

The Samsung chief had already been questioned along with several other company executives in the month of January, however, consequent court ruling decided there were inadequate grounds for an arrest.

In the past weeks, investigators revised the case and decided there were fresh aspects that needed further questioning.

"I will once again tell the truth," said Mr. Lee right before the hearing.

The prosecution claims that Samsung gave 2.8m euros ($3.1m; £2.5m) to a firm co-owned by Choi Soon-sil (Park confidante) and her daughter, in exchange for political support for the merger deal between Samsung C&T, and Cheil Industries.

Lee Jae-yong, or Jay Y. Lee, first provided evidence in front of a parliamentary hearing in the month of December last year, and since January he has been eyed as an official suspect in this corruption scandal.

Samsung admitted offering a total of 20.4bn won (£16m; $17.46m) to the foundations during the parliamentary hearing but denied any kind of favors in return.

Mr. Lee is presently vice-chairman of Samsung Electronics. But since his father suffered a heart attack in 2014, he is considered de facto boss of the whole Samsung Group conglomerate.

On the other hand, Park Geun-hye remains formally the president but with no powers; the prime minister has been temporarily offered the presidential authority as of now.

Ms. Park denies any wrongdoing but has apologized for the ways in which she managed her relationship with Ms Choi.