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Asia Today ISSN 1861-4604 Thursday, August 16, 2018

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Samsung chief quizzed again over corruption scandal

Scandal that led to the impeachment of South Korean President

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SEOUL, South Korea - Samsung Group leader Jay Y. Lee was summoned at the South Korean special prosecutor's office for questioning on Monday as part of a wider investigation into a corruption and influence-peddling scandal that led to the impeachment of South Korean President Park Geun-hye.> BNN

The scion of the South Korean tech giant has been accused of pledging 43 billion won ($US37.31 million) to a business and organisations backed by Park's confidante Choi Soon-sil in exchange for support for a 2015 merger of two Samsung companies.

"I will earnestly tell the truth to the prosecutors today," a grave-looking Lee told reporters on Monday morning before meeting with the prosecutors as part of the second round of questioning.

The Samsung chief has already been questioned once earlier with several other company executives in January but was not arrested due to insufficient grounds.

The scandal centers around Choi, who is accused of using her links to the president to force local firms to "donate" nearly $70 million to two non-profit foundations which Choi allegedly used for personal gain.

Samsung was the single largest donor to the foundations and is accused of separately giving a huge sum of money to Choi and her daughter in a bid to secure policy favours from Park in return.

Special prosecution spokesman Lee Kyu-chul told reporters four executives other than Lee have been identified as suspects and a decision on whether to seek their arrest would be made following questioning.

Meanwhile, in South Korea, provincial governor An Hee-jung is surging ahead in the presidential polls.  

“I want to be a president who would put up a basketball hoop in the yard of the Blue House and play basketball with aides,” said 51-year-old An in a recent online video interview, referring to the presidential compound.

An has scored moved up significantly in the ratings since former United Nations chief Ban Ki-moon declared he would not be contesting the elections.

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