Samsung’s de facto leader appears for more questioning

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Samsung’s de facto leader appears for more questioning

Prosecutors on Friday questioned Samsung's de facto leader Lee Jae-yong over possible illegalities in a controversial merger of two affiliates in 2015 that cemented his control over the group.
 
It marked the second time in a week that Lee, vice chairman of Samsung Electronics and head of the country's largest business group, appeared at the Seoul Central District Prosecutors’ Office. He was summoned on Tuesday and questioned for about 17 hours.  
 
The media was not allowed access to Lee on Friday.  
 
For several years, the People's Solidarity for Participatory Democracy, a civic group, has been filing criminal complaints accusing Samsung of a series of legal violations, including breach of trust, in order to help Lee take control of the conglomerate from his father, Lee Kun-hee, who has been hospitalized since 2014 after a heart attack.  
 
Suspicions have been raised that the merger between Samsung C&T and Cheil Industries in 2015 and a case of accounting fraud the same year, which ended up inflating the value of Samsung BioLogics, an affiliate of Cheil, were used to strengthen Lee’s control over the conglomerate.  
 
During Tuesday’s questioning, Lee denied his involvement in any of the alleged wrongdoings, sources informed about the investigation told the JoongAng Ilbo.  
 
BY SER MYO-JA   [ser.myoja@joongang.co.kr]

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