Thursday, 19 January 2017

Court dismisses arrest warrant for Samsung's CEO, Lee Jae Yong released from detention

The independent counsel, the team currently in charge of investigating the scandal, believes that Samsung paid a total of $36.42 million to Choi Soon Sil in return for benefits.  They fostered a relationship where they paid millions of dollars to Choi to support her organizations and her daughter Chung Yoo Ra.  For instance, reports say that Samsung bought several horses and a horse park in Germany to be used by Yoo Ra costing them more than $3.3 million.  Samsung is believed to have benefitted from this relationship especially through the controversial merger between Samsung C&T and Cheil Industries.  With government support, the merger allowed Samsung to retain control and handover the group's leadership from chairman Lee Kun Hee to his son Lee Jae Yong despite owning only a small amount of shares.  This allowed Samsung to retain control of the whole group for a low cost.  

An arrest warrant was sought for Samsung's Lee Jae Yong for bribery, embezzlement and perjury.  During the 22-hour questioning, Lee Jae Yong told prosecutors that Samsung was coerced into giving money to Choi Soon Sil, that it was a simple case of extortion by the Blue House, and that Samsung expected no favours in return for the 'donations'.  The independent counsel, however, says it has evidence showing that the support of the merger helped consolidate Lee's control of the group.  Lee was held in detention while they waited for the court's decision on whether to approve the arrest warrant.

The Seoul Central District Court decided on Thursday to decline the issue of an arrest warrant.  Judge Choi Eui Youn said, "I see no need to arrest the suspect right now as there is room for disagreement about the major charges."  Lee was then immediately released from temporary detention where he awaited the court's decision.  

1. [+43,640, -3241] Ah... this is Korea's declaration of giving up democracy... The court is disgraceful... A bus driver who was missing 2,400 won (~$2) was charged for embezzlement yesterday and someone who gave a 430 BILLION bribe is let out free... dirty Republic of Samsung

2. [+31,785, -2048] Fighting to the independent counsel! The citizens are all fighting with you until the end!

3. [+31,721, -2430] You call yourself a judge? Bet their legal team will scout you

4. [+25,994, -1989] Department of Justice: This is insane~~!!

5. [+17,691, -1036] One fearful judge has turned the tides in favour of the corrupt Chaebol conglomerates of Korea.  How do you think you'll be remembered in our history?

6. [+7940, -372] The most corrupt group in Korea. 

7. [+7683, -417] Looks like the judge was on their side...

8. [+7449, -361] Justice is dead. No one is equal in front of the law anymore.

9. [+7216, -323] Similar reason for Shin Dong Bin's dismissal too. The law is different for the rich and the poor.

10. [+6911, -355] It's cold but it looks like we're going to have to go out for a candlelight rally 


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