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Samsung heir appears in court for determination on arrest warrant

Xinhua | Updated: 2017-01-18 10:19

Samsung heir appears in court for determination on arrest warrant

Samsung Group chief, Jay Y. Lee, is surrounded by media as he arrives at the Seoul Central District Court in Seoul, South Korea, January 18, 2017. [Photo/Agencies]

SEOUL - The heir apparent of Samsung Group, South Korea's largest family-run conglomerate, appeared in court on Wednesday for determination on his arrest warrant which prosecutors sought two days earlier.

The hearing on whether to detain Samsung Electronics Vice Chairman Lee Jae-yong will be held at about 10:30 am local time (0130 GMT). The result is forecast to come out around midnight.

If the court accepts the detention request, Lee will be taken into custody immediately. If it is rejected, he will be allowed to return home.

The grim-faced heir apparent did not answer any questions from a crowd of journalists surrounding him, local TV footage showed.

An independent counsel team, which is investigating a scandal involving President Park Geun-hye, requested the arrest of the Samsung heir for charges of bribery, perjury and embezzlement.

Samsung is suspected of bribing President Park's longtime confidante Choi Soon-sil and Choi's daughter in return for getting support from the national pension fund in the 2015 merger of two Samsung affiliates.

The merger was extremely crucial to Vice Chairman Lee to inherit Samsung's overall management control from his ailing father Chairman Lee Kun-hee.

The impeached leader and the Samsung heir met face-to-face around the time of the merger. The independent counsel claimed President Park and her decades-long friend had shared private interests, indicating bribing Choi equivalent to bribing the president.

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