S. Korea prosecutors question Samsung chief

An investigation of Jay Y. Lee is underway in a case linked to impeached President Park Geun-hye.

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

Jay Y. Lee (C), vice chairman of Samsung Electronics, bows as he arrives to be questioned as a suspect in a bribery case in the influence-peddling scandal that led to the president's impeachment.

South Korean special prosecutors on Thursday questioned the head of top conglomerate Samsung Group, Jay Y. Lee, on suspicion of bribery in an influence-peddling scandal that led to President Park Geun-hye's impeachment.

Park remains in office but has been stripped of her powers while the Constitutional Court decides whether to uphold the December impeachment and make her the first democratically elected leader to be forced from office. Park has denied wrongdoing.

The prosecution named Lee as a suspect on Wednesday and is investigating whether 30 billion won ($25.3 million) provided by Samsung to a business and foundations backed by President Park Geun-hye’s friend, Choi Soon-sil, were connected to a 2015 decision by the country's national pension fund to support a controversial merger of two group affiliates.

"I apologize to the South Korean people for revealing something which is not positive through this incident," Lee told reporters after arriving at the office.

Shane Hahm in Seoul has more.

TRTWorld and agencies