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Samsung heir to be indicted on bribery charges in corruption probe

All Headlines 14:43 February 28, 2017

SEOUL, Feb. 28 (Yonhap) -- Lee Jae-yong, the de facto leader of Samsung Group, will be indicted on charges of bribery, the independent counsel said Tuesday, as investigators wrap up their four-month-long probe into an influence-peddling scandal centered on impeached President Park Geun-hye.

Prosecutors suspect that Lee, vice chairman of Samsung Electronics Co., gave or promised some 43 billion won (US$36.3 million) worth of bribes to the president's jailed friend Choi Soon-sil in return for the government's backing of a merger of two Samsung affiliates in 2015.

The business merger was seen as critical for the smooth management succession of the group from ailing Samsung Electronics Chairman Lee Kun-hee to his only son Jae-yong.

The investigation team, led by Park Young-soo, was given 70 days with another 20 days for preparation to look into the allegations President Park let her friend Choi meddle in state affairs and amass profits using her ties to the president.

Lee was formally arrested by the investigators earlier this month, marking the first time that the chief of the country's largest family-run business group has been detained.

Lee Jae-yong, vice chairman of Samsung Electronics Co., arrives at the special prosecutor's office in southern Seoul on Feb. 26, 2017, to undergo an interrogation. Lee was arrested on Feb. 16 for alleged bribery related to the merger of two of Samsung's affiliates involving impeached President Park Geun-hye. (Yonhap)

scaaet@yna.co.kr
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