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South Korea Prosecutor Weighs Economic Impact of Arrest of Samsung chief | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Jay Y. Lee, center, vice chairman of Samsung Electronics, arrives to be questioned as a suspect in bribery case in the influence-peddling scandal that led to the president’s impeachment at the office of the independent counsel in Seoul, South Korea, Thursday, Jan. 12, 2017. REUTERS/Ahn Young-joon/Pool

South Korea’s special prosecutor stated on Sunday it will consider the economic influence of whether to arrest Samsung Group [SAGR.UL] leader Jay Y. Lee in connection with an influence-peddling investigation involving the president.

Jay Y. Lee is the third-generation leader of South Korea’s largest firm.

The office also postponed its decision on whether to seek the arrest of Lee until Monday though it had said earlier it would a decision by Sunday.

Prosecutors have been investigating whether Samsung provided 30 billion won ($25.46 million) to a business and foundations backed by President Park Geun-hye’s friend, Choi Soon-sil, in exchange for the national pension fund’s support for a 2015 merger of two Samsung affiliates.

The Samsung chief denied bribery accusations during a parliamentary hearing in December.

“Law and principle are the most important metric, and after also considering various factors mentioned previously, we will decide by law and principle,” the prosecution spokesman Lee said, regarding to economic impact.

Samsung’s Lee was questioned for 22 hours before leaving the special prosecutors’ office in Seoul on Friday morning as part of the investigation into a corruption scandal that has led to President Park’s impeachment by parliament.