South korea: application for a warrant of arrest against the heir of Samsung

Corée du Sud: demande de mandat d'arrêt contre l'héritier de Samsung

SEOUL | The prosecutor’s office in Seoul on Thursday announced to have requested a warrant of arrest against the vice-president and heir of the great south Korean group Samsung, Lee Jae-yong, in the framework of an investigation on the controversial merger of two subsidiaries in 2015.

Vice-president of Samsung Electronics, the flagship of the conglomerate Lee Jae-yong was convicted in 2017, to five years in prison as part of the resounding corruption scandal that had led to the impeachment and imprisonment of the ex-president of south korea Park Geun-hye.

The leader of the 51-year-old was released a year later, but it is currently the subject of a new trial.

The office of the prosecutors of the Seoul central district said Thursday that it is seeking to obtain a warrant of arrest against Mr. Lee.

He is accused of having taken part in a case of deception on prices in 2015, when Cheil Industries, a subsidiary specializing in the fashion, diet and recreation, took control in 2015, Samsung C&T (CONSTRUCTION).

This merger had been seen as a crucial step to ensure a smooth transition of the Samsung group to the third generation.

It had, however, been criticized on the ground that the value of C&T would have been deliberately under-evaluated during the transaction. The national fund of retirement (NPS), a significant shareholder of Samsung, however, had given the green light to this operation.

The prosecutor has also requested a warrant of arrest against two ex-leaders of Samsung for their role in this merger, according to the release.

This request comes nearly a month after the apology by Lee Jae-yong to the plan that he has developed to take the head of the conglomerate. He was so committed to this that there is “more controversial” with respect to its promotion and to be the last in the line of family succession.

Samsung is by far the largest conglomerate family-run south Korean, or “chaebol”, in which various industrial activities are an important part of the 12th global economy.

Its worldwide turnover amounts to one-fifth of the gross domestic product of the country.

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