Jay Y. Lee, Vice Chairman and heir of Samsung Group attended the court hearing on his arrest warrant on Thursday. Lee was interrogated by the Seoul Central District Court along with Samsung Electronics President Park Sang-jin after the Korean Supreme Prosecutors' Office (SPO) requested arrest warrants for both men. The SPO is seeking to arrest two Samsung executives on charges of bribery, hiding of assets, and embezzlement, while Lee himself is also facing charges of perjury and concealing the proceeds of a criminal act. The two men were charged following an investigation into an influence-peddling scandal in the Far Eastern country involving the South Korean President Park Geun-hye and her associate Choi Soon-sil.
Lee and his colleague Park were interrogated by a judge in private and a decision on their arrest warrant will likely be made by early Friday. The Seoul Central District court already dismissed one request to arrest Lee in January due to a lack of evidence. Since then, the SPO claims it collected additional evidence against Samsung Group's Vice Chairman, as evidenced by the fact that the charges against him have recently been expanded. Lee allegedly paid over $37 million in bribes to several organizations connected to Choi which previously backed President Park's policy initiatives. One such organization is also connected to Choi's daughter Park Geun-hye as Samsung apparently financed her equestrian career. Coincidentally, Samsung Electronics President Park also presides over the Korea Equestrian Federation. The SPO claims that Samsung paid bribes to facilitate a controversial 2015 merger between Samsung C&T and Cheil Industries. The largest business conglomerate in the country denied all accusations, as did his two executives. President Park mimicked those sentiments along with Choi, though the latter is currently in jail awaiting trial, while her daughter was recently arrested in Denmark after Seoul filed an extradition request for her.
Neither Lee nor Park commented on the contents of their arrest warrant hearing and both are currently awaiting the court's decision in a detention center. It remains to be seen whether how the situation will develop but Lee's potential arrest likely won't affect the company's short-term earnings. More details on the matter are expected to follow by tomorrow.