Lee Jae-yong, the heir to the Samsung Group, has escaped arrest in the South Korean bribe scandal. A South Korean Court has already rejected his arrest warrant over this corruption scandal. This scandal has previously led to the impeachment of President Park Geun-hye.
Lee Jae-yong escaped arrest since the Seoul Central District Court rejected the warrant. The Court states that it “is hard to acknowledge the reason…for the arrest at the current stage”. The debate still goes on over lack of evidence and the Samsung heir’s involvement in the scandal.
Lee Jae-yong obtained release from the detention facility after the court’s decision. The Korea Herald reports that the 48 year old business magnate was detained in a location south of Seoul. He left at approximately 5 AM as per reports.
More Information on the Detention
He also remained in the facility for around 14 hours prior to the decision taken by the court. The independent team of counsels for the scandal asked for Lee’s warrant. He has been charged with embezzlement, bribery and perjury.
As per the team of counsels, Lee has given 43 billion won ($36 million) in bribes. These were given to Choi Soon-sil, a longtime buddy of Park. In return, the Park administration supported the merger between two affiliates of Samsung.
This merger represents a major move by the only son of Samsung Group Chairman Lee Kun-hee. This will help him boost his hold over the family empire. His father is currently besieged by an illness.
What Lee Has Stated
Lee has strongly denied all charges against him, according to Quartz Media. He has stated that the donations were forced on him. He was forced to donate to the Mir Foundations and K-Sports which are entities managed by Choi.
The Samsung Group has conveyed its overwhelming relief at the decision taken by the court. The rejection of Lee’s warrant is a major blow to the investigation team. Several other companies like Hyundai and LG have donated to Choi’s firms in the past.