Samsung Electronics Vice Chairman Lee Jae-yong was arrested in the early hours Friday morning. He is the first conglomerate chief to be arrested in connection with the Choi Soon-sil scandal. Here’s more in our first story.
The Seoul Central District Court issued an arrest warrant for Lee at around 5:35a.m. Friday. The decision came after the court reviewed the request for Lee's arrest for 19 hours. The court said that it recognizes the reasons and need to detain Lee given additional evidence and new allegations of crime. Lee is the first conglomerate chief to be arrested with relation to the Choi Soon-sil scandal and also the first chief of the top group to be placed in custody since the founding of Samsung Group. In its second bid to seek Lee's arrest, the independent counsel team probing the scandal accused Lee of hiding criminal proceeds and illegally transferring assets overseas on top of initial charges of bribery. The probe team had demonstrated confidence in proving the charges against Lee, while expanding the amount that Lee allegedly embezzled. However, the Seoul court on Friday rejected the special prosecution's request for a warrant to arrest Samsung Electronics President Park Sang-jin who is charged with being part of Samsung's bribery. With Lee's arrest, the probe team's investigation targeting President Park Geun-hye is expected to gain speed.