Prosecutor says Samsung's Lee paid $52 million of bribes to President Park's friend Choi

Prosecutor says Samsung's Lee paid $52 million of bribes to President Park's friend Choi
Choi Soon-sil (L), the woman at the centre of the South Korean political scandal and long-time friend of President Park Geun-hye, appears for her first trial at the Seoul Central District Court on January 5, 2017 in Seoul. On the right, Jay Y. Lee, Samsung Electronics' vice chairman.
PHOTO: Reuters

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.

The ‘female Rasputin’ at centre of S Korean President Park Geun-Hye political scandal


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