Yesterday, Samsung’s Lee Jae-Yong attended a hearing in Seoul and was awaiting a decision regarding his arrest. Prosecutors are of the opinion that Lee should remain detained while they investigate the corruption in the 2015 merger of Cheil Industries and Samsung C&T.
However, the ruling has provided temporary relief for Lee and has rejected his arrest warrant. This does not mean that the de facto head of the South Korean conglomerate is out of the woods. The prosecutors will continue their investigation. Moreover, the political and business scandal from 2017 has also moved to the supreme court for retrial.
For those who don’t know, Samsung heir Lee is accused of accounting fraud during the controversial merger between two Samsung businesses, Samsung C&T and Cheil Industries, in 2015. According to the prosecutors, the deal catalyzed Lee’s plan to take greater control of the “chaebol”.
As far as Samsung’s statement is concerned, the Korean tech giant denied the allegation of stock-manipulation against Lee, saying it was absurd claiming that he was involved in the decision-making in the first place. In another statement, the conglomerate said that the legal issue is weighing on the management since its going hand in hand with the pandemic and US-China trade war.
Moreover, Lee Jae-Yong is not the only Samsung heir sentenced to prison. Three other top management individuals have spent time in jail for hiding or destroying evidence.