Samsung vice-chairman and heir to the business, Lee Jae-yong has been arrested on allegations of bribery and other offenses in South Korea.
The firm is accused of paying a bribe to to secure a merger between Cheil Industries and Samsung C&T.
The merger’s success hinged on the National Pension Fund agreeing to it.
Samsung is accused of paying a 43 billion won bribe to secure the merger.
The allegations form part of a much larger investigation which alleges that Choi Soon-sil leveraged her relationship with President Park Geun-hye to garner donations for non-profits she had set up with a view to taking those donations for herself.
Back in January a South Korean judge ruled that an arrest warrant for Jae-yong would not be granted saying, ““It is difficult to acknowledge the neccessity and substantiality of an arrest at this stage…”
However, the vice-chairman was questioned again this week and a court said today that it, “acknowledged that it is necessary to arrest [Lee Jae-Yong] in light of a newly added criminal charge and new evidence” the BBC reported.
The prosecution now has 20 days to file formal charges. As the BBC reports, Jae-yong has only been arrested because it considers the crime that has potentially been committed as very serious and assumes the chairman is a flight risk.
Samung has reportedly denied any wrong doing but says it will do its best to make sure the truth is revealed in court proceedings.
[Via – BBC]