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World

S. Korean independent counsel to question Samsung heir apparent for bribery charge

2017-01-12 09:23:14

SEOUL, Jan. 11 (Xinhua) -- An heir apparent of Samsung Group, South Korea's largest family-run conglomerate, is to be questioned by an independent counsel team investigating a scandal involving President Park Geun-hye.

The team's spokesman told a press briefing on Wednesday that Samsung Electronics Vice Chairman Lee Jae-yong will be summoned at 9:30 a.m. local time on Thursday for questioning.

The summoning indicates the special prosecutor team's investigation nearing to an end, heralding an interrogation of the impeached president in the foreseeable future.

Samsung is suspected of having provided an illegal financial assistance to Park's longtime confidante Choi Soon-sil and Choi's daughter in return for getting support from the national pension fund in the July 2015 merger of two Samsung affiliates.

The merger to create the de facto holding company was extremely crucial to the management control transfer to Lee Jae-yong from his father, Chairman Lee Kun-hee who has been hospitalized for over two and a half years for heart attack.

President Park and Vice Chairman Lee met face-to-face around the time of the merger. Former health and welfare minister has been in custody for his alleged involvement in the national pension fund's support for the Samsung merger despite an unfair exchange ratio between the two affiliates.

Editor:Jiang Yiwei