Prosecutors say the payments were made in return for political favors, an allegation the business leaders have denied. Samsung’s deepening links to the corruption investigation have done further damage to the company’s image after the humiliating fiasco over its fire-prone Galaxy Note 7 smartphone last year. The arrest warrant for Lee came on the same day that National Pension Service chief Moon Hyung-pyo was indicted on charges of perjury and abuse of power. The fund’s vote was key to ensuring it went through in the face of vigorous opposition from a U.S.-based activist hedge fund. 35.907757
127.766922 If it is, the man tapped to head the country’s biggest conglomerate will be taken into detention. Lee was questioned last week and will appear in the coming days before a judge who will decide whether the arrest warrant is valid. The move against Samsung Electronics Vice Chairman Lee Jae-yong on Monday is part of an investigation into a massive political corruption scandal that has shaken South Korea’s political and business elites. (Credit: Ahn Young-Joon/AFP/Getty Images)
South Korean Prosecutors Seek to Arrest Samsung Heir Over Allegations of Bribery, Perjury
Lee Jae-yong (center) vice chairman of Samsung Electronics, arrives to be questioned as a suspect in a corruption scandal that led to the impeachment of President Park Geun-Hye, at the office of the independent counsel in Seoul on January 12, 2017. But prosecutors are accusing Lee and Samsung of making the payments to secure the National Pension Service’s backing for the 2015 merger. Samsung Electronics wasn’t immediately available to comment on the announcement of the arrest warrant for Lee. Lee Jae-yong (center) vice chairman of Samsung Electronics, arrives to be questioned as a suspect in a corruption scandal that led to the impeachment of President Park Geun-Hye, at the office of the independent counsel in Seoul on January 12, 2017. The charges are the latest developments in the far-reaching scandal that prompted lawmakers to vote to impeach President Park Geun-hye. Moon is accused of pressuring the pension fund to support a contentious merger of two Samsung affiliates in 2015 when he was minister of health and welfare. During an unprecedented public grilling by lawmakers last month, Lee said he was unaware of Samsung’s payments to Choi’s foundations. Lee and other top South Korean business leaders are being investigated over donations their companies made to foundations controlled by Park confidante Choi Soon-sil, the woman at the center of the influence-peddling scandal. The National Pension Service, which was a major shareholder in one of the Samsung subsidiaries involved in the 2015 merger, declined to comment on Moon’s indictment. (Credit: Ahn Young-Joon/AFP/Getty Images)
Prosecutors have issued an arrest warrant for Samsung’s heir apparent over allegations of bribery, perjury and embezzlement. The merger helped Lee strengthen his control over Samsung Electronics. Results of an investigation into what caused the smartphones to catch fire are expected to be announced this month.