Samsung chief arrested in South Korea over bribing charges

Samsung Group’s de facto leader Jay Y. Lee is facing jail time over bribery charges in presidential scandal.

Samsung Electronics vice chairman and heir-apparent to Samsung Group Jay Y. Lee was arrested on Friday morning in South Korea on bribery charges linked to a presidential corruption probe. Last month, a Korean special prosecutor sought an arrest warrant for Lee, but a judge ultimately turned down the request. This time around, the judge granted the arrest after “new charges and evidence” were presented.

Lee is accused of bribing an aide to former South Korean president Park Geun-hye in order to secure government backing of a merger between Samsung C&T Corp and Cheil Industries Inc. The corruption scandal led the parliament to impeach Park in December, and now prosecutors have ten days to indict Lee. According to Reuters, the new charges include “bribery, embezzlement, hiding assets overseas and perjury.”

Samsung and Lee have denied wrongdoing, stating: “We will do our best to ensure that the truth is revealed in future court proceedings.” The trial itself as well as a final verdict could take as long as 18 months.

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