The Supreme Prosecutors' Office of the Republic of Korea (SPO) is still deciding whether to request additional arrest warrants for Samsung Group's officials, a spokesman for the office Lee Kyu-chul revealed on Monday. South Korean authorities are currently in the process of wrapping up their investigation of a corruption scandal involving the leadership of the Far Eastern country and some of Samsung's top executives, including the conglomerate's Vice Chairman Jay Y. Lee. The Seoul-based special prosecutor's office already said it's considering requesting more arrest warrants for the company's executives, but it apparently still hasn't reached a decision. Apart from Lee, the SPO said its investigation yielded four more suspects, all of whom happen to be officials of Samsung Group. The decision on whether to arrest them will be made after they're questioned, the spokesman for the office revealed.
Even if the SPO decides to request arrest warrants for more Samsung's officials, they may still avoid jail like Lee did after a Korean court ruled that there's no reason for him to to be jailed during the trial. Samsung Group's Vice Chairman could still face another arrest warrant this month but only if the authorities manage to uncover additional evidence against him. Lee was accused of paying over $37 million in bribes to several organizations linked to Choi Soon-sil, a confidante of President Park who allegedly helped Samsung Group facilitate the 2015 merger of Samsung C&T and Cheil Industries. Despite not holding any office in the Far Eastern country, Choi supposedly used her connection to Park to illegally broker the controversial consolidation, the SPO claims.
The authorities are obliged to finish their investigation into the matter this month but they can also legally request a month-long extension which seems like a probable scenario given the latest turn of events. Apart from hurting Samsung, this corruption scandal could also have long-lasting political consequences in South Korea seeing how the parliament of the Far Easter country already started the process of impeaching President Park over the matter. The authorities previously revealed that Samsung Group isn't the only conglomerate in the country they suspect of wrongdoing and announced that more similar probes will follow in the future.