Samsung Chief Is Being Questioned Behind Closed Doors In An Arrest Warrant Hearing

Samsung Group chief, Jay Y. Lee, leaves the Seoul Detention Centre in Uiwang, South Korea, January 19, 2017. Park Ji-hye/News1 via REUTERS

Samsung Group chief, Jay Y. Lee, leaves the Seoul Detention Centre in Uiwang, South Korea, January 19, 2017. Park Ji-hye/News1 via REUTERS

Jay Y. Lee, Samsung Group leader and another executive were questioned by a South Korean judge behind closed doors on Thursday to decide if they were involved and if they were guilty in a corruption scandal that lead to the impeachment of their president Park Geun-hye.

South Korea’s special prosecutor’s office has been questioning the relationship between the Samsung Group and Park, who was asked to step down by the country’s parliament in December and her powers have been taken away as the Constitutional Court decides whether to hold on to the impeachment.

Lee was accused of promising 43 billion won to a business and organizations backed by Park’s friend, Choi Soon-sil, in exchange for the president’s support in merging two Samsung companies back in 2015.

The promised funding also includes Samsung’s sponsorship of the equestrian future of Choi’s daughter, who is in detention in Denmark after being sought by the authorities of South Korea.

The same Seoul Court let Lee walk away in January, by rejecting the request for arrest. But now the case against him expanded and there are more charges against Lee, which include hiding the proceeds of a criminal act, as well as bribery, embezzlement, hiding assets overseas and perjury.

On Wednesday, Samsung Group tweeted through their official Twitter account that, “Samsung has absolutely never bribed the president seeking something in return or sought illicit favors.”

“We will do our best for the truth to be revealed in court,” it said.

If Lee does get arrested it could be a major drawback to Samsung, the world’s biggest maker of smartphones, memory chips and flat-screen televisions, potentially hampering strategic decision-making such as new investments and acquisitions, reported Reuters.