The arrest warrant requested for Samsung Group's Vice Chairman Jay Y. Lee will be decided tomorrow, two days after the Korean special prosecutor's office made a decision to lay out official charges against the heir to the Seoul-based conglomerate.
Jay Y. Lee, co-vice chairman of Samsung Electronics Co., center, is surrounded by members of the media as he leaves the special prosecutors' office in Seoul, South Korea, on Friday, Jan. 13, 2017.
If the court agrees with the prosecutors' request he will be the first South Korean senior executive to be arrested over the scandal. Those payments are alleged to have been in exchange for swaying Park, the president, in favor of a 2015 merger between two major Samsung entities, which had the effect of consolidating Lee's holdings and power. Moon Hyung-pyo, the administrator of the pension fund, was arrested a month ago on charges that he unlawfully constrained the reserve to back that merger when he was South Korea's Health Minister. "We have to make aggressive investment and merger and acquisition decisions to race ahead of competitors".
THe Wall Street Journal claims that the large, family-controlled conglomerates such as Samsung that dominate South Korea's economy historically have enjoyed lenient treatment from the country's judicial system-a factor that has contributed to public anger over the scandal encircling the president.
Samsung Electronics had a challenging year even before getting drawn into an influence-peddling scandal that led to the impeachment of President Park Geun-hye.
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Choi Soon-sil is the confidante of then-President Park and has been accused of clearing around $70M through questionable means.
The 48-year-old is the vice chairman of Samsung and the company's de facto head while his father, chairman Kun-hee Lee, is being cared for in hospital after he had a heart attack more than two years ago. Park is still officially in office and is waiting to see whether the Constitutional Court will overrule that decision and leave her in power, which doesn't seem likely to happen.
The national pension fund's support was crucial for the merger, which analysts said helped Mr.
According to the Korea JoonAng Daily, Samsung pledged 22 billion won (approximately $24.39 million Canadian) to support the equestrian training of Choi's daughter.
Samsung came under criticism at that time, particularly from NY hedge fund and activist shareholder Elliot Management, who tried, unsuccessfully at the time, to block the deal. Unlike the other corporate contributors, it went beyond the donations, taking steps that included signing an $18 million contract with a sports management company that Ms. Choi ran in Germany. "If a South Korean corporation acquiring a leading company is accused of offering bribes, there's a strong chance key workers at that leading company will leave ahead of time to avoid their own reputation being damaged and having difficulties finding other work in the future", the executive added.