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Prosecutors request arrest of Samsung heir, bribery suspect

Prosecutors requested the arrest Monday of the Samsung heir Lee Jae-yong as a bribery suspect in the influence-peddling scandal that led to the impeachment of South Korea’s president.

The special prosecutors office said it had ask the court to approve a warrant for the arrest of Lee, the 48-year-old Samsung Electronics vice chairman.

Samsung is South Korea’s biggest company, and Lee is its de-facto head.

The prosecutors office said it also indicted ex-health minister Moon Hyung-pyo on charges he abused his power to compel the national pension fund to support a contentious Samsung merger in 2015.

Last week, the investigators questioned Lee on allegations Samsung won government favours such as getting backing for the merger in exchange for donating corporate funds to various entities controlled by Choi Soon-sil, a long-time friend of President Park Geun-hye. She has been jailed.

Lee earlier denied the allegations. Samsung had no comment when asked about the arrest warrant.

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