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Samsung chief questioned in arrest warrant hearing

Samsung chief questioned in arrest warrant hearingJay Y. Lee, Samsung Group's de facto leader, was questioned behind closed doors on Wednesday to decide whether he should be arrested over his alleged role in a corruption scandal that led parliament to impeach President Park Geun-hye, Yonhap news agency reported.

After a nearly four-hour review at the Seoul Central District Court, Lee, vice chairman of Samsung Electronics Co., was taken to a detention center in Uiwang, south of the capital city, where he will wait for the court's decision. The result is likely to come out after midnight.

On Monday, an independent counsel looking into the scandal sought the warrant to arrest Lee on charges of bribery, embezzlement and perjury.

Lee is accused of giving or promising some 43 billion won ($36.3 million) worth of bribes to Park's jailed friend Choi Soon-sil in return for the state-run pension fund's backing of a merger of two Samsung affiliates.

Lee's attorney Song Woo-chul told reporters after the court review they are sure that the court would make a wise decision.

"We have fully explained (our stance) to the court," he said.

Lee Kyu-chul, the probe team's spokesman, also said they expect a wise decision from the court, adding their investigation into other conglomerates will continue as planned, regardless of the court's decision on the warrant request.

The probe team's decision to seek a warrant came a few days after Lee was grilled by investigators for about 22 hours from Thursday to early Friday.

If arrested, Lee will be the first senior executive arrested over the latest scandal. It will also mark the first time that the head of the country's largest business group has been put behind bars.

The investigation team said they will carry out their investigation into three other senior Samsung executives, including Vice Chairman Choi Gee-sung, without detention.
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