South Korean investigators seek arrest of Samsung heir again

South Korean investigators seek arrest of Samsung heir againSouth Korean special prosecutors again sought the arrest of the de facto leader of Samsung on charges of bribery in relation to impeached President Park Geun-hye, after their first attempt was rejected by a local court last month, Yonhap news agency reported on Tuesday.

The investigation team, led by Independent Counsel Park Young-soo, in January asked the Seoul Central District Court to issue a warrant to formally detain Jay Y. Lee , the vice chairman of Samsung Electronics Co., but the court rejected the necessity of the arrest.

Prosecutors also are seeking an arrest warrant for Samsung Electronics president Park Sang-jin, who oversees the company's external relations.

Seoul Central District Court said it will hold a hearing on Thursday to review the arrest request.

Prosecutors accused Lee of giving or promising some 43 billion won ($36.3 million) worth of bribes to the president's jailed friend Choi Soon-sil in return for the state-run pension fund's backing of a merger of two Samsung affiliates in 2015.

The Samsung scion has denied the allegations raised against him.

Lee was questioned for a second time on Monday, as the special prosecutors accelerated their probe into an influence-peddling scandal centered on President Park, with the investigation deadline slated for February 28. The period can be extended once for a month with the consent of Acting President and Prime Minister Hwang Kyo-ahn.
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