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Samsung chief arrested in South Korea over bribing charges

Samsung Electronics vice chairman and heir-apparent to Samsung Group Jay Y. Lee was arrested on Friday morning in South Korea on bribery charges linked to a presidential corruption probe. Last month, a Korean special prosecutor sought an arrest warrant for Lee, but a judge ultimately turned down the request. This time around, the judge granted the arrest after "new charges and evidence" were presented.

Lee is accused of bribing an aide to former South Korean president Park Geun-hye in order to secure government backing of a merger between Samsung C&T Corp and Cheil Industries Inc. The corruption scandal led the parliament to impeach Park in December, and now prosecutors have ten days to indict Lee. According to Reuters, the new charges include "bribery, embezzlement, hiding assets overseas and perjury."

Samsung and Lee have denied wrongdoing, stating: "We will do our best to ensure that the truth is revealed in future court proceedings." The trial itself as well as a final verdict could take as long as 18 months.

Harish Jonnalagadda
Harish Jonnalagadda

Harish Jonnalagadda is a Senior Editor overseeing Asia at Android Central. He leads the site's coverage of Chinese phone brands, contributing to reviews, features, and buying guides. He also writes about storage servers, audio products, and the semiconductor industry. Contact him on Twitter at @chunkynerd.

22 Comments
  • Samsung is on fire lately.
  • Ah too soon. Lol
  • I disagree, better to strike the iron while it's still a hot topic.
  • That was pretty much expected since he has been the topic of news for the last three months. New marketing slogan for the Note 8. Bribing edition!
  • lmfao... he just got caught. Apple, google, microsoft, LG.... they all do it in some way or another and you are kidding yourself if you think big business works ANY other way.
  • They all do it, in the USA it's called corporate lobbyists.
  • Nah, there is no way that corporate lobbyists do this in the United States. Yes, they do. I just woke up to reality this morning.
  • Well duh, of course they all do it. Did you honestly think that I didn't know that? The point is that his arrest was pretty much expected since he has been the topic news for the last three months.
  • This is unfortunate. Regardless of guilt, such allegations bring shame to his family's name and the company. Samsung has a hand in a ton of industries other than mobile, consumer electronics and appliances but this shows that Lee is willing to do whatever it takes.
  • He's not the first Samsung leader to get in trouble for the same things though. Lee Kun-hee had to be pardoned by the then South Korean president for tax evasion and embezzlement. The Lee family seem pretty shameless in general.
  • Lock him up, Lock him up
  • 2017 is shaping up to be an extremely interesting year from Samsung. With the S8 coming to (hopefully) show a major comeback from the Note 7 debacle and the arrest of the heir, it's becoming very interesting to see how it holds up.
  • This reflects their devices.. hacking benchmarks, exploding devices, copying Apple
  • Shame smh. I wish another country would impeach its corrupt president..
  • seems like he spent to much time in US and forgot that bribing is not legalized in his country.
  • The Clinton foundation. Pay to play
  • Lol projecting. #sad #alternativefacts Are Trumpster ever going to stop talking about Clinton? Doubtful, as then they'd have to face the dumpster fire they helped start.
  • Meanwhile in America, these corrupt CEOs are given jobs in Trumps administration, and receive golden parachutes as they transition with the revolving door loopholes.
  • I'm legitimately curious as to how this will affect the Harman shareholders voting for the buyout, some already were not happy with the deal... Shame, was looking forward to JBL/HarmanKardon tech in my Note 8.
  • Best and worst case scenario — Harmon says no. Then Samsung will have to (and they certainly can) develop their own premium audio package around specific hardware, that they can also build in-house.
  • "in-house" I'm becoming increasingly nervous of a company that can do that much in house. Too much control can be a bad thing,..e.g.. Government. With that much in house components and software, Joe Public should be offered a better value i.e. (rumored: Galaxy S8 to be over $1000.00). SMH
  • Would you buy a used phone from this man?