Samsung heir quizzed as suspect in Park scandal


SEOUL: Samsung heir Lee Jae-Yong was grilled by South Korean prosecutors Thursday after becoming a criminal suspect in the corruption scandal engulfing impeached President Park Geun-Hye.

Lee, chairman of Samsung Electronics and the son of the Samsung Group chairman Lee Kun-Hee, was to be questioned in connection to allegations of bribery, prosecutors said Wednesday.

He is also accused of committing perjury during a parliamentary hearing last month into the affair, Yonhap news agency reported.

“I am sorry for causing concern among the people over this incident”, Lee said as he arrived at the office of the special prosecutor investigating the case.

Lee and his lawyer were greeted by scores of journalists as well as dozens of protesters waving banners and chanting “arrest Lee immediately” and calling him a “co-culprit” in the scandal.

The likelihood of prosecutors seeking a court warrant to formally arrest Lee was “high”, an unidentified investigator was quoted by Yonhap as saying.

The scandal centres on Park’s secret confidante Choi Soon-Sil, who is accused of using her ties to Park to coerce top firms into “donating” tens of millions of dollars to two non-profit foundations which Choi then used as her personal ATMs.

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