South Korean prosecutors seeking an arrest warrant for Samsung vice chairman Lee Jae-yong have had their request denied by the court.
The request forms part of the ongoing investigation into a corruption scandal involving President Park Geun-hye and her close friend Choi Soon-sil.
It is alleged that Soon-sil used her relationship with the South Korean president – who was impeached in December – to leverage donations to non-profits Soon-sil had setup with a view to taking those donations for personal gain.
Samsung’s vice chairman was staring down the barrel of an arrest warrant because the firm allegedly paid 43 billion won to get the support of the National Pension Fund in a merger between Cheil Industries and Samsung C&T.
A South Korean court has denied the request. The Financial Times reports the judge as saying, “It is difficult to acknowledge the neccessity and substantiality of an arrest at this stage…”
Samsung has welcomed the news saying that the merits of the case can now be determined without the need to detain Jae-yong.[Via – Financial Times]