South Korean prosecutors seek arrest of Samsung’s de facto head

New York [USA], Jan. 16 : Prosecutors have issued an arrest warrant for Samsung's heir apparent over allegations of bribery, perjury and embezzlement in the influence-peddling scandal that led to the impeachment of South Korean president Park Geun-hye.

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, reports the CNN.

Lee is set to appear on Wednesday before a judge, who will decide whether the arrest warrant is valid.

If it is valid then the man tapped to head South Korea's biggest conglomerate will be taken into detention.

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.

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.

The merger helped Lee strengthen his control over Samsung Electronics. 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.

During an unprecedented public grilling by the lawmakers last month, Lee said that he was unaware of Samsung's payments to Choi's foundations.

The prosecutors have accused Lee and Samsung of making the payments to secure the National Pension Service's backing for the 2015 merger.

Source: ANI