Samsung Pleads Court Not To Arrest Chairman Lee

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Samsung Group pleaded with the Seoul Central District Court on Tuesday over an arrest warrant requested for Jay Y. Lee, the Vice Chairman of the South Korean conglomerate. According to Yonhap, some business circles in the country also supported Lee who's currently facing charges of bribery, perjury, and embezzlement. The Seoul-based court will decide whether to arrest Lee tomorrow. Following the arrest warrant request made by the High Prosecutor's Office on Monday, Samsung issued a statement detailing how the company cannot accept bribery charges laid out against Lee, adding that its executive was forced to offer money while he was liaising with the South Korean state pension fund in 2015. The fund in question was a major shareholder of Cheil Industries which merged with Samsung C&T a year and a half ago. Additionally, Samsung's Monday statement denied any connection between Lee's alleged bribes and the 2015 merger.

Lee is accused of paying $36.3 million in bribes to several organizations connected to Choi Soon-sil, a close associate of President Park. Choi allegedly used her connections to convince the Korean state pension fund to vote for the merger of Cheil Industries and Samsung C&T, both of which were already owned by Samsung Group in 2015. Even though the Seoul-based conglomerate is denying any wrongdoing, it's also asking that Lee stands trial without dentition seeing how he's already banned from leaving the country. The company's representatives said that there's a low possibility of any destruction of evidence as authorities have already raided Samsung's offices on three occasions in recent months. Overall, the firm believes there's no reason for Lee to stand trial in detention.

The Seoul Central District Court will decide whether to issue an arrest warrant for Lee on Wednesday. The hearing that's scheduled to take place before that is expected to last several hours. An identical warrant was already issued for Choi who's currently in prison awaiting trial for numerous charges including bribery and attempted fraud. President Park's fate is still uncertain as she's scheduled to be interrogated in February while also waiting for a decision from the Constitutional Court that's currently reviewing an impeachment request for her.

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