After a prolonged twenty-two hours of questioning round, Korean prosecutors now issued an arrest warrant against Samsung’s Jay Y. Lee, currently serving the company as its De facto head. Jay Y. Lee was interrogated by an independent counsel team on January 12 suspecting him with bribery and embezzlement charges. This is yet another major crisis to be faced by the South Korean giant after the Galaxy Note 7 investigation.
The accusations state that Samsung’s said heir transferred company’s funds in favor of Park Geun-hye, their confidant and impeached president. This was allegedly done so as Yong Lee could hold control over the tech giant. Speaking of Park, she was voted for impeachment the previous month along with suspension from her presidential duties. Though she is currently immune to criminal charges, the scandal will extensively impact the political system for the region.
Further, it is being reportedly said that Lee directed the money in Park’s friend account, Choi Soon-sil in a barter of assistance regarding a merger between Samsung’s main holding company and its construction business back in 2015. At that time, shareholders had refused to give in with the decision fearing of Lee’s tremendous influence over the company in future. Moreover, Samsung donated 20.4 billion to two non-profit foundations in recent times — both of them are being said to be linked with Choi.
The court will give its statement over the sought warrant on Wednesday but the pressure is building up with every passing hour. If the arrest warrant is approved by the court, it will lead to an indictment then. Last year, the Korean giant’s headquarters were raided by authorities to look for material evidence linking them to the corruption charges against former President Park.
Robert Kelly, an associate professor at Pusan National University commented on the ongoing case as,
This thing is metastasizing all out of control, every day there’s some new revelation. It’s always putting businessmen and government bureaucrats around a table talking about money,this is something that, quite honestly, could have good political side effects.
Samsung has been quiet on the ongoing reports, though the company has huddled in a deep pit for now.
Simran is The Tech Portal’s newest member, and has a keen interest in covering enterprise tech and app tech. She reports from our HQ @ Jaipur, India.