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Thursday, June 04, 2020, 14:01
S. Korea seeks arrest warrant for Samsung heir in merger probe
By Reuters
Thursday, June 04, 2020, 14:01 By Reuters

In this Feb 16, 2017 file photo, Samsung Electronics Vice Chairman Jay Y. Lee (front) enters a Seoul court for hearings in Seoul, South Korea. (LEE SANG-HO / XINHUA)

SEOUL - South Korean prosecutors have requested an arrest warrant against Samsung Group heir Jay Y. Lee and two former company executives, they said on Thursday, in an investigation of a controversial 2015 merger and alleged accounting fraud.

The move spells fresh legal trouble for Lee, who already faces trial on a charge of bribery aimed at winning support to succeed ailing group patriarch Lee Kun-hee

The move spells fresh legal trouble for Lee, who already faces trial on a charge of bribery aimed at winning support to succeed ailing group patriarch Lee Kun-hee, and which involved former President Park Geun-hye.

ALSO READ: Samsung Group heir questioned by prosecutors over a 2015 deal

Prosecutors said the warrant against Lee was sought on suspicions of stock price manipulation, among other offences.

Samsung declined to comment.

Lee, 51, spent a year in detention until the bribery case was suspended in 2018, but the possibility of a tougher sentence has emerged after the Supreme Court overturned a lower court ruling on the case last year.

ALSO READ: Samsung heir Lee apologises over succession, labour controversy

Prosecutors have been investigating suspected accounting fraud at drug company Samsung Biologics after the Korean financial watchdog complained the firm’s value had been inflated by 4.5 trillion won (US$3.7 billion) in 2015.

Last month, Lee was questioned by prosecutors investigating the accounting fraud accusation and a controversial 2015 merger they said may have helped him advance his succession-planning agenda at South Korea’s top conglomerate.


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