Second Arrest Warrant For Samsung Chief Requested In Korea

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The South Korean Supreme Prosecutors' Office (SPO) confirmed on Tuesday it requested a second arrest warrant for Jay Y. Lee, Vice Chairman of Samsung Group and heir to the company. In addition to Lee, the office revealed it is also seeking to arrest Samsung Electronics President Park Sang-jin who was already questioned by the authorities over the weekend. The SPO requested a first arrest warrant for Lee last month but was denied by a judge due to a lack of evidence against Samsung Group's Vice Chairman. Lee was interrogated for 15 hours on Monday before the prosecutors filed for another arrest warrant, but the authorities have yet to provide more details on the interrogation.

The SPO's request will once again be examined by the Seoul Central District Court in the coming days as the court said a hearing on the matter will be held on Thursday morning. Lee and Park have been accused of embezzlement, bribery, and hiding of assets, while Lee is also facing charges of perjury. Both men have denied any wrongdoing and Samsung Group previously said the South Korean prosecutors are looking to use the largest business group in the country to harm President Park who's also connected to the ongoing corruption scandal in the Far Eastern country. President Park was accused of colluding with her friend Choi Soon-sil to pressure large companies in the country to donate to several organizations that are both connected to Choi and have previously financed some of Park's political initiatives. Both President Park and Choi have denied all accusations, but the latter is currently in jail awaiting trial while her daughter who's also implicit in the scandal is currently under arrest in Denmark and is awaiting extradition to South Korea.

The SPO promised to clarify its requests to arrest Lee and Samsung Electronics' Park tomorrow, February 15. In the meantime, industry watchers are speculating how Lee's arrest could reflect on Samsung Group in the coming months. While it's unlikely that the company's short-term earnings will take a hit, the conglomerate may be forced to change or pause its strategy concerning mergers and acquisitions if Lee ends up waiting for his trial in jail.

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