Samsung Group chief Lee Jae-yong arrestedPhoto: Lee Jae-yong, Wikipedia, CC BY 3.0

The chief of Samsung Group Jay Y. Lee is arrested over his alleged role in a corruption scandal at the highest levels of power in South Korea.

Samsung Group chief Lee Jae-yong arrestedPhoto: Lee Jae-yong, Wikipedia, CC BY 3.0

Lee is accused of bribing a close friend of President Park Geun-hye in return of government favors related to the leadership succession at the conglomerate. According to Reuters, the special prosecutor’s office will indict him with charges including bribery, embezzlement, hiding assets overseas and perjury. Samsung and Lee deny wrongdoing in the case.

Lee was taken into custody at the Seoul Detention Center. Prosecutors have up to 10 days to indict Lee and after indictment, a court would be required to make its first ruling within three months.

The arrest of Lee happens in a sensitive time for Samsung, since the company is going through a restructuring after the heart attack of Lee’s father in 2014. The arrest also boosts prosecutors that are building a case against President Park and her close friend Choi Soon-sil, who is in detention and faces charges of abuse of power and attempted fraud.

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