Samsung CEO is a suspect in Park probe

downloadA South Korean special prosecutor’s office has said that Samsung supreme dalek Jay Lee is a suspect in an influence-peddling scandal that led to a parliamentary vote to impeach President Park Geun-hye.

Inspector Knacker of the Korean Yard is looking sideways at Samsung payments of $25 million for a business and foundations backed by Park’s friend, Choi Soon-sil. The question is if these were connected to a 2015 decision by the national pension service to back a controversial merger of two group affiliates.

Samsung has admitted that it made payments to two foundations as well as a consulting firm controlled by Choi. The prosecution this week summoned two senior Samsung Group officials for questioning, though they were listed as witnesses.

Lee Kyu-chul, a spokesman for the special prosecution team, told a briefing the Samsung leader had been summoned for questioning  tomorrow over suspicions including bribery, but did not elaborate.

National Pension Service chief Moon Hyung-pyo was arrested in December after acknowledging he pressured the fund to approve the merger between Samsung C&T and Cheil Industries in 2015 while he was health minister.

Lee, 48, denied bribery accusations during a parliamentary hearing in December, rejecting assertions from lawmakers that Samsung lobbied to get the fund to vote in favour of the merger.

The special prosecutors’ office said it was considering whether Lee gave false testimony during the parliamentary hearing.

“Samsung is the one that has made the biggest contributions among conglomerates and it had an exclusive relationship with Choi Soon-sil, buying a horse,” Shin said, referring to the firm’s sponsorship of Choi’s daughter’s equestrian career.