South Korea prosecutors summon another Samsung executive

Fri Jan 20, 2017 5:18am EST
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By Se Young Lee

SEOUL (Reuters) - South Korea's special prosecutor's office said on Friday it summoned a Samsung Electronics Co Ltd executive for questioning as it investigates a widening influence-peddling scandal that has embroiled President Park Geun-hye.

The office said it had summoned Executive Vice President Hwang Sung-soo for questioning at 2 p.m. (0500 GMT) on Friday, adding he was classified as a witness. It did not elaborate.

Hwang is the fifth executive of Samsung Group, the country's top conglomerate, the prosecutor has summoned. Samsung Electronics is the flagship company of Samsung Group and is the world's top manufacturer of smartphones, memory chips and flat-screen televisions.

A Samsung Group spokesman declined to comment.

Samsung Group [SAGR.UL] leader Jay Y. Lee and Vice Chairman Choi Gee-sung have been classified as suspects by the prosecution, which has been investigating whether the conglomerate paid bribes to Park's confidant, Choi Soon-sil, to win support from the National Pension Service for the 2015 merger of two Samsung Group affiliates.

Park, 64, was impeached last month by parliament over allegations that she allowed her friend, Choi, to exert inappropriate influence over state affairs.

Choi is accused of colluding with Park to pressure big businesses to contribute to non-profit foundations backing the president's initiatives and is in detention as she undergoes trial.

Both have denied wrongdoing, although Park has apologized for exercising poor judgment.   Continued...

FILE PHOTO - A man walks behind a logo of Samsung Electronics at the company's headquarters in Seoul April 30, 2010.  REUTERS/Jo Yong-Hak/File Photo