A huge corruption scandal that shook South Korea could end with the arrest of the heir to the Samsung business, Lee Jae Yong.
Lee allegedly paid the government tens of millions of dollars in return for their support for a merger that would give him greater control over the tech giant.
Wednesday morning, Lee will arrive at a court in Seoul, where a judge will decide whether a warrant should be issued for Lee’s arrest based on charges of perjury, embezzlement and bribery.
The hearing is expected to go on for hours and there’s a chance that the decision isn’t going to be announced until Thursday, 19th of January.
Lee continues to deny all allegations. Other representatives from Samsung have also spoken in support of him. Samsung is dismissing all accusations saying it “did not make any contributions in order to receive favors”.
According to prosecutors, Lee and Samsung provided funds worth $36.3 million to an organization associated with a confidant to South Korean President Park Jeun-Hye. The money was paid to facilitate a contentious merger between two Samsung affiliates in 2015.
By getting the support of South Korea’s National Pension Service for the deal, Lee was given more control over Samsung Electronics (SSNLF) increasing his chances of succeeding his sickly father as chairman of Samsung Group.
Samsung’s corruption investigation is further damaging its already tarnished reputation from the exploding Samsung S7 debacle; Lee’s arrest will only add to the tech giant’s humiliation. The company has already suffered millions worth of loss and with the ugly turn the investigation is taking, much greater losses are expected.