The prosecutors who are investigating allegations of corruption, involving the country's President Park Geun-hye, sought the arrest of Jay Y. Lee on charges of bribery, embezzlement and perjury.
A South Korean court on Thursday refused to authorise the arrest of the Samsung group chief Jay Y. Lee in a corruption scandal which last month saw the country's parliament voting to impeach President Park Geun-Hye.
The judge said in a statement on his ruling that an arrest was not necessary for now.
The prosecutors probing the corruption allegation on Monday sought the arrest of Lee on charges of bribery, embezzlement and perjury.
South Korea's special prosecutor's office said on Thursday it has not decided whether to make another arrest warrant request for Lee.
A spokesman for the prosecutor, however, said there would be no let up in the investigation.
Lee, who has led Samsung since his father, Lee Kun-hee, suffered a heart attack in 2014, was still likely to face the same charges of bribery, embezzlement and perjury, legal analysts said.
The pre-dawn decision by the Seoul Central District Court to allow him to go home was welcomed by Samsung Group.
Lee Jung-jae, a lawyer and former prosecutor, said he didn't think the special prosecutor would push for Lee's detention again.
The special prosecutor has accused Lee of paying bribes totaling 43 billion won ($36.70 million) to organisations linked to Choi Soon-sil, a friend of President Park.
Allegedly the bribe was aimed at securing the 2015 merger of two affiliates and cement his control of the family business.
President Park, who remains in office but stripped of her powers while the court decides her fate, has denied wrongdoing.