Samsung boss awaits ruling of South Korean court

Seoul court to decide on whether to imprison tycoon pending trial over presidential corruption scandal

Samsung boss awaits ruling of South Korean court

World Bulletin / News Desk

The powerful vice chairman of the Samsung Group faced an hours-long wait in detention on Thursday as a court decided his fate in relation to the corruption scandal that has engulfed South Korea, local media said.

Lee Jae-yong arrived at Seoul Central District Court after being questioned for a second time by special prosecutors over the alleged payment of tens of millions of dollars to ensure government backing for a controversial merger of Samsung affiliates in 2015.

The investigation team has been examining any favors Lee might have bought as part of a wider corruption scandal that led to the impeachment of President Park Geun-hye in December.

With the prosecution probe due to expire at the end of this month, now could be the last chance to secure the arrest of Lee.

Broadcaster KBS said the investigators appeared confident as they submitted further evidence gathered from financial regulators.

However, Lee’s defense team reportedly maintained that Samsung gave donations under pressure from the president with no benefits attached.

A court decision on the warrant request is expected by early Friday. If arrested, Lee would join several close presidential aides awaiting trial behind bars in connection with the scandal.

Park is suspended from duty but is still protected by her position pending a final ruling on her impeachment by the Constitutional Court.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 16 Şubat 2017, 10:16