Court Grants Warrant For Samsung Vice Chair’s Arrest Related To Bribery Case

Image courtesy of Adam Fagen

A month after Samsung’s vice chairman avoided arrest in connection with a South Korean bribery case, a court has approved a warrant for Jay Y. Lee’s arrest. 

Reuters reports that Seoul Central District Court approved the South Korean special prosecutor’s office request for a warrant to arrest Lee on bribery and other charges.

The court also rejected the prosecutor’s request for a warrant for the arrest of Samsung President Park Sang-jin.

Lee’s impending arrest comes a day after he was questioned for eight hours by the same Seoul court that previously denied a similar warrant request, citing lack of evidence.

Lee was first publicly tied to the case last month when he faced 22 hours of questioning related to his part in the corruption scandal involving South Korea President Park Geun-hye.

The case involves whether or not millions of dollars in payments from Samsung to businesses and foundations run by an associate of the President’s — Choi Soon-sil — constituted a bribe, and if Lee had any personal dealings with the contributions.

The prosecutor’s office alleges that Samsung’s contributions — including $17 million in donations to Choi’s foundation and millions of dollars worth of contracts to companies she ran or was involved with — were made in exchange for a decision by the National Pension Services to support a merger of two of the electronic company’s affiliates.

The merger was personally reportedly beneficial to Lee, as it eventually led him to take over control of Samsung from his father.