Threat of arrest looms over Samsung boss

South Korea’s special prosecutor delays until Monday (January 16) a decision on whether to seek a warrant to arrest Samsung Group leader Jay Y. Lee, a suspect in an influence-peddling investigation involving President Park Geun-hye, citing the gravity of the case. Scarlett Cvitanovich reports.

SEOUL, SOUTH KOREA (REUTERS, SAMSUNG BIOLOGICS HANDOUT) – Samsung’s boss to sweat it out a bit longer.

South Korea’s special prosecutor delaying a decision on whether to issue an arrest warrant for Jay Y. Lee.

The Samsung Group leader considered a suspect in a political scandal that’s already seen President Park Guen-hye impeached by parliament.

Lee questioned for 22 hours on Friday (January 13), in a marathon grilling over suspected bribery.

Samsung is suspected of giving more than 25 million dollars to businesses backed by the president’s friend Choi Soon-sil as a sweetener that would help merge two company affiliates.

A decision on whether to arrest the South Korean business magnate had been expected on Sunday (January 15).

However, that decision delayed by a day – prosecutors citing the gravity of the case.

Investigators deliberating all factors, including the potential economic impact of arresting the Samsung chief.

Analysts say, establishing a money-for-favour exchange between Samsung and Park is critical for the investigation.

Lee had denied bribery accusations during a parliamentary hearing in December.

A decision on whether to put three other Samsung group executives in handcuffs is also being decided.