Samsung leader quizzed for over 22 hours in South Korea corruption scandal

Fri Jan 13, 2017 2:08am EST
 
Email This Article |
Share This Article
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
| Print This Article | Single Page
[-] Text [+]

By Se Young Lee and Ju-min Park

SEOUL (Reuters) - Samsung Group leader Jay Y. Lee left the South Korean special prosecutor's office early on Friday after more than 22 hours of questioning on bribery suspicions in an influence-peddling scandal that could topple President Park Geun-hye.

Lee left the special prosecution office without answering reporters' questions and headed to a waiting car.

Prosecutors have been investigating whether Samsung provided 30 billion won ($25.46 million) to a business and foundations backed by Park's friend, Choi Soon-sil, in exchange for the national pension fund's support for a 2015 merger of two Samsung affiliates.

The special prosecutor's office said it would decide by Sunday whether to seek a warrant to arrest 48-year-old Lee, the third-generation leader of South Korea's largest conglomerate, or chaebol. There were no plans to bring him in for further questioning.

Lee denied some of the suspicions against him but had admitted to others, said Lee Kyu-chul, a spokesman for the special prosecutors' office who declined to elaborate.

A Samsung spokeswoman declined to comment.

The corruption scandal has engulfed the highest reaches of South Korea's elite, with Park impeached by parliament in December, a decision that must be upheld or overturned by the Constitutional Court. Park, who has been stripped of her powers in the meantime, has denied wrongdoing.

Jay Y. Lee was named as a suspect on Wednesday and summoned on Thursday morning for questioning.   Continued...

 
Jay Y. Lee, center, vice chairman of Samsung Electronics, arrives to be questioned as a suspect in bribery case in the influence-peddling scandal that led to the president's impeachment at the office of the independent counsel in Seoul, South Korea, Thursday, Jan. 12, 2017. REUTERS/Ahn Young-joon/Pool