Samsung's Jay Y. Lee Promises to Avoid Further Scandals

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Earlier today, nine of Samsung's top executives started testifying at a parliamentary hearing in Seoul regarding the latest political scandal Samsung got involved into last month. Jay Y. Lee, the Vice Chairman of the South Korean conglomerate, promised the members of the parliament that he will do everything he can to avoid any additional political scandals, but still denied all accusations laid out against Samsung.

The hearing was held in regards to allegations that a close confidante of the South Korean president pressured Samsung into donating money to certain non-profit organizations and other firms in exchange for political influence. More specifically, President Park and her friend Choi Soon-sil have recently been accused of using political power for personal gain. These charges are even more serious in the context of the fact that Ms. Choi holds no official position of power in South Korea and never did. However, the High Prosecutor's Office believes that both Ms. Choi and her daughter profited directly from Samsung which provided financial support to them on several occasions for dubious reasons.

These allegations were the reason why Samsung's South Korean offices have already been raided twice over the course of the last few weeks and why several of the company's top executives were questioned by the High Prosecutor's Office in November. Today, the Vice Chairman of Samsung Group denied all accusations in front of the South Korean parliament, explicitly stating that the tech giant never provided any financial support to non-profit organizations or other companies with expectations of getting something illegal in return. However, Lee did not deny that any of the questionable transactions actually happened, so it may be a while before this scandal unfolds as the South Korean authorities have already announced further investigations into the matter.

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All in all, while both Seoul and Samsung would certainly like to put this thing to bed as soon as possible, that probably won't be possible given how all of the involved parties are denying accusations. President Park has already refused to cooperate with authorities after becoming the first Korean president to be called for questioning in a criminal investigation and rejecting the proposal through her lawyers.