Jay Y. Lee (C), vice chairman of Samsung Electronics, arrives to be questioned as a suspect in bribery case that led to the president's impeachment. (January 11, 2017)
Jay Y. Lee (C), vice chairman of Samsung Electronics, arrives to be questioned as a suspect in bribery case that led to the president's impeachment. (January 11, 2017)

South Korea's special prosecutor on Monday sought an arrest warrant for the head of Samsung Group, the country's largest conglomerate, accusing Jay Y. Lee of paying multimillion dollar bribes to a friend of impeached President Park Geun-hye.

The special prosecutor's office accused Lee of paying bribes totalling 43 billion won ($36.42 million) to organisations linked to Choi Soon-sil, a friend of the president who is at the centre of the scandal, in order to secure the 2015 merger of two affiliates and cement his control of the family business.

The 48-year-old Lee, who became the de facto head of the Samsung Group after his father, Lee Kun-hee, was incapacitated by a heart attack in 2014, was also accused of embezzlement and perjury, according to the prosecution's application for an arrest warrant.

Lee is due to appear on Wednesday morning at the Seoul central district court, which will decide whether to grant the arrest warrant.

President ​Park, 64, remains in office but has been stripped of her powers while the Constitutional Court decides whether to make her the country's first democratically elected leader to be forced from office.

TRT World's Shane Hahm has more details.

Source: TRTWorld and agencies