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Samsung heir to be questioned on connection to influence-peddling scandal

All Headlines 15:07 January 11, 2017

SEOUL, Jan. 11 (Yonhap) -- A special investigation team looking into an influence-peddling scandal centered on President Park Geun-hye and her longtime friend has summoned Samsung's heir apparent over allegations the group gave financial support to the confidante in return for business-related favors, its spokesman said Wednesday.

Lee Jae-yong, vice chairman of Samsung Electronics Co., was called in to undergo questioning as a suspect on charges of bribery on Thursday at 9:30 a.m., spokesman Lee Kyu-chul told a regular press briefing.

Samsung Group allegedly struck a 22 billion-won (US$18.3 million) contract with a German-based company owned by Park's jailed friend Choi Soon-sil and her daughter under the name of a consulting arrangement to fund the daughter's equestrian training.

Investigators here are looking into suspicions that the contract was signed in return for the state-run pension fund's backing of a major merger deal between Samsung subsidiaries in 2015. There have been allegations that the state fund was pressured by the presidential office to support the merger in return for favors Samsung gave to Choi.

The investigation team said Tuesday it has secured a tablet PC used by Choi that has information related to financial support the conglomerate gave to her company.

This undated file photo shows the main office of Samsung Electronics Co. in southern Seoul (Yonhap)

scaaet@yna.co.kr
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