Samsung chief questioned by prosecutors in South Korea political scandal

SEOUL (Reuters) Special South Korean prosecutors questioned canada goose outlet seattle the head of top conglomerate Samsung Group on suspicion canada goose jacket outlet uk of bribery on Thursday in an influence peddling scandal that led to President Park canada goose outlet niagara falls Geun hye impeachment.

canada goose uk shop Park remains in office but has been stripped of her powers while the Constitutional Court decides whether to uphold the December impeachment and make her the first democratically elected leader to be forced from office. canada goose uk shop

canada goose clearance am very sorry to the South Korean people for not showing a better side, Samsung Group leader Jay Y. Lee told reporters as he arrived at the prosecution office in a black sedan, greeted by protesters holding signs calling for his arrest and accusing him of being the president accomplice. canada goose clearance

canada goose uk black friday Investigators would now decide whether to seek an arrest warrant against Lee, 48, special prosecution spokesman Lee Kyu chul told reporters. canada goose uk black friday

Parliament impeached Park over allegations she allowed a friend, Choi Soon sil, to exert inappropriate influence over state affairs.

Choi is accused of colluding with Park to pressure big businesses, including the Samsung Group, to contribute to non profit foundations backing the president initiatives.

canada goose black friday sale Choi, in detention and on trial on charges of abuse of power and attempted fraud, has denied wrongdoing. canada goose black friday sale

Prosecutors named Lee a suspect on Wednesday canada goose outlet in vancouver and are investigating whether Samsung gave 30 billion won ($25.28 million) to a business and foundations backed by Choi in exchange for the national pension fund canada goose outlet miami support for a 2015 merger of Samsung C Corp and Cheil Industries Inc.

Lee in December denied accusations the conglomerate sought to curry favour with Park or Choi to secure the 2015 merger, a deal seen as critical for ensuring family control of the conglomerate as generational succession looms.

canada goose factory sale Wearing a dark suit, white shirt and dark red tie, Lee bowed after making brief remarks to reporters. A canada goose outlet location Samsung Group spokeswoman declined to comment on the investigation. canada goose factory sale

Proving improper dealings between Park, or Choi, and Samsung would be key for the prosecutors case, analysts said, noting their goal was to prove Park or her surrogates took bribes from corporations in exchange for favours.

The special prosecution spokesman said investigators were also looking into whether Lee lied during a December parliamentary hearing about Samsung involvement in the scandal, as well as whether he could be charged with breach of trust or embezzlement.

Investigators questioned two senior Samsung Group executives this week as witnesses.

canada goose clearance sale The special prosecution has not begun investigations into any other conglomerates. Dozens of South Korean corporate groups made contributions to the two foundations, but Samsung donations were the largest. canada goose clearance sale

INTEREST The scandal has triggered weekly rallies calling for Park to step down. She has apologised and said this month the pension fund support for the Samsung companies merger was in the national interest.

canadian goose weezer-online jacket If Park were to leave office, a presidential election would be held within 60 days. Secretary General Ban Ki moon. canadian goose jacket

Lee canada goose outlet factory took over canada goose outlet as leader of the smartphones to pharmaceuticals conglomerate after his father, founding family patriarch Lee Kun hee, had a heart attack in 2014.

canada goose coats on sale Jay Y. Lee arrest or indictment would be a blow to Samsung and the family, which has been streamlining its business to ensure a stable transfer of control from the ailing Lee Kun hee to his children. canada goose coats on sale

While analysts and investors said management would be able to keep the various affiliates including Samsung Electronics Co Ltd in good shape, the conglomerate as a whole may be slower to commit to major investments or acquisitions should Jay Y. Lee be imprisoned.

Some also said Samsung and the Lee family may lose credibility among investors.

corruption scandal is the most embarrassing thing for a pension fund like us, said Park Yoo kyung, a Hong Kong based director for Dutch pension fund APG Asset Management, which holds shares in Samsung Electronics.

FILE PHOTO: Jay Y. Lee attends a prize ceremony in Seoul, South Korea, June 1, 2015. REUTERS/Cho Seong joon/Pool/File photo

cheap canada goose uk have an obligation to invest in a clean company. cheap canada goose uk

Share prices of most Samsung companies have shown muted reaction to Lee implication in the scandal, however. Samsung Electronics shares rose 1.4 percent to a record high 1.94 million won on Thursday and Samsung canada goose outlet winnipeg C shares gained 1.6 percent, compared with a 0.6 percent rise for the canada goose outlet phone number broader market.

possible that Samsung Group companies will try to behave more transparently in response and operate in a more fair manner that shareholders can rationally understand, said IBK Asset Management fund manager Kim Hyun su.

Reporting by Se Young Lee and Ju min Park; Additional reporting by Joyce Lee and Hyunjoo Jin; Editing by Tony Munroe and Nick Macfie.

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