23 March 2018

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01/16/2017 SOUTH KOREA

Samsung’s vice chairman Lee Jae-yong arrested in connection with President Park’s scandal

He is accused of paying bribes to Choi Soon-sil worth more than US$ 36 million US. Prosecutors allege that the group also financed a Choi-owned sports company to the tune of US$ 18.3 million.

Seoul (AsiaNews/Agencies) – Special prosecutors on Monday requested an arrest warrant for Lee Jae-yong, Samsung Group's de facto leader, on charges of bribery, embezzlement and perjury in connection with an influence-peddling scandal that led to President Park Geun-hye's impeachment.

Lee, vice chairman of Samsung Electronics Co., is accused of giving some 43 billion won (US.3 million) worth of bribes to Park's influential friend Choi Soon-sil in return for the state-run pension fund's backing of a merger of two Samsung affiliates.

The South Korean president and her old friend Choi Soon-sil are at the centre of the scandal that has gripped the country in the last few months.

The president’s friend is accused of interfering in the country’s internal and foreign policies and of using her close ties to Park to extort large sums of money from several companies.

On 9 December, the South Korean parliament voted in favour of impeaching the president. Now the Constitutional Court has 180 days to decide whether to remove Park from the presidency.

Samsung signed a 22 billion won (US$ 18.3 million) consulting contract in August 2015 with Widtec Sport, a Germany-based firm owned by the Choi family, to develop South Korea’s equestrian sport ahead of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

The firm also "donated" more than US$ 17 million to two foundations linked to Choi.  It was the largest amount given by any business group to the organisations.

Prosecutors describe the donation as a bribe. The Samsung Group has denied most of the allegations raised during a parliamentary hearing held last month.

The business group has admitted to making contributions to the two foundations and her firm, but denied such contributions were related to the merger.

The Seoul Central District Court will hold a hearing on Wednesday to review the legality of Lee Jae-yong’s detention.

See also

29/11/2016 08:56:00 SOUTH KOREA
Park: ready to resign, parliament will decide my future

The Korean president says she is ready to leave power "once lawmakers come up with measures to transfer power in a way that minimises any power vacuum and chaos in governance." December 2, the opposition will present the motion for impeachment in parliament. Park would be the first president to step down since 1960.


31/03/2017 10:06:00 SOUTH KOREA
Former President Park arrested for corruption

The decision by the Seoul Court after nine hours of hearing. Park is accused of corruption, abuse of authority and revelation of state secrets. She denies any wrongdoing. She is the third president to be imprisoned and risks a sentence of 10 years.

19/01/2017 10:51:00 SOUTH KOREA
Samsung: Court rejects arrest warrant for deputy chief Lee Jae-yong

He was accused of corruption, embezzlement and perjury and involved in the scandal that has engulfed the President Park. According to the judges the reasons are not sufficient to approve the request for provisional arrest.


27/03/2017 16:57:00 SOUTH KOREA
Prosecutors ask Seoul court to arrest former President Park Geun-hye

If the Seoul District Court agrees with the request and issues the arrest warrant, Park will be the first former South Korean president to be arrested since 1995. The charges against her include abuse of office, bribery and leaking government documents.

10/03/2017 09:37:00 SOUTH KOREA
The Constitutional Court confirms the removal of President Park

"She has betrayed the trust of the people and the Constitution." Two pro-Park supporters, were killed during a demonstration in front of the Court. Elections in May.

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