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Court denies arrest warrant for Samsung heir

A South Korean court denied a request by prosecutors to arrest Samsung Group heir apparent Lee Jae-yong in connection with the country's presidential corruption scandal, The Korea Herald reported Jan. 19.

The Seoul Central District Court rejected an arrest warrant sought for Lee on allegations of bribery, embezzlement and perjury. The court cited a lack of evidence and said it was difficult to justify the reason, necessity and appropriateness for an arrest.

Lee was then immediately released from a detention facility where he had been placed to await the decision.

The Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. vice chairman is accused of offering 43 billion won in bribes to Choi Soon-sil, the confidante of South Korean President Park Geun-hye, in order to secure support for a merger between two Samsung affiliates in 2015.

Lee was recently questioned by special prosecutors as part of an investigation into the scandal surrounding the now-impeached president.

As of Jan. 18, US$1 was equivalent to 1,169.68 South Korean won.