South Korea Prosecutor to Take into Economic Factors Before Arresting Samsung Boss

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Jay Y. Lee of Samgsung Electronics Co. Ltd., at the annual Allen and Co. Media and Technology Conference, Saturday, July 15, 2006 in Sun Valley, Idaho. Photographer: Matthew Staver/Bloomberg News.

According to Reuters, South Korea’s special prosecutor said that it will assess the economic impact before making the decision to arrest Samsung Group leader Jay Y. Lee.

Currently, Lee is suspected of being in collusion with the currently impeached South Korean president in a corruption scandal.

The office has already decided to delay the decision on arresting Lee until tomorrow.  He is the third generation leader of South Korea’s largest corporation.

Lee is suspected of giving $25 million to business foundations connected to President Park Geun-hye’s friend, Choi Soon – sil.  In return, Samsung received pension fund’s support for a 2015 merger of two affiliates of Samsung.

Lee Questioned for 22 Hours

Lee has denied the accusations during a parliamentary hearing held last December.  The question surfaces that if the economic impact is deemed too great, then presumably Lee will not be arrested and should he have bribed officials, he will have effectively got away with it.

A spokesman for the prosecutor,  Lee Kyu-chul said, “Law and principle are the most important metric, and after also considering various factors mentioned previously, we will decide by law and principle.”

Samsung declined to respond.

On Friday Lee was questioned for 22 hours in connection with the scandal that has seen President Park impeached.

President Park Denies Wrongdoing

President Park has always denied doing anything wrong, although she has issued an apology for poor judgement.  Choi, her friend is also at the centre of the scandal and has also denied that she has done anything wrong.

Currently, Park’s fate hangs with the South Korean Constitutional Court which is deliberating on whether to overturn or uphold the impeachment vote.

Samsung has admitted making contributions to the foundations and a consulting firm who Choi controls, but they have denied lobbying to push through the merger of Samsung C&T and Cheil Industries Inc.

 

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