South Korea's special prosecutor's office said on Monday that Samsung Group leader Jay Y. Lee had paid bribes totaling 43 billion won (US$36.42 million or S$52.1 million) to Choi Soon-sil, the friend of President Park Geun-hye at the centre of an escalating corruption scandal.
The prosecutor's office said on Monday it will seek a warrant to arrest Lee on charges of bribery and embezzlement.
Lee Kyu-chul, a spokesman for the prosecutor's office, told journalists that arrest warrants would not be sought for three other Samsung executives questioned during the investigation.
South Korea president's friend denies knowledge of Samsung's 2015 merger plan
The friend at the centre of a corruption scandal engulfing South Korean President Park Geun-hye's administration, said on Monday she had no prior knowledge of Samsung Group's plans for a controversial 2015 merger of two affiliates.
"Even if I knew, I could not have passed on any information because I have no knowledge about mergers or hedge funds, anything like that, in the first place," the friend, Choi Soon-sil, told a public hearing at South Korea's Constitutional Court on Monday.
South Korea's Constitutional Court began hearing arguments this month on whether to uphold parliament's vote last month to impeach President Park.