16:24 GMT +315 December 2019
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    In this Tuesday, Dec, 6, 2016, file photo, Lee Jae-yong, a vice chairman of Samsung Electronics Co., arrives for a hearing at the National Assembly in Seoul, South Korea

    South Korean Court Rejects Bid to Arrest Samsung Chief Amid Corruption Probe

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    A South Korean district court in Seoul rejected on Thursday a prosecutor’s request to issue an arrest warrant for the Samsung de facto chief in a high-profile corruption case.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Samsung Electronics Vice Chairman Lee Jae-yong was allowed to walk free and went back to work earlier in the day after spending the night at a detention center, the Yonhap news agency reported.

    "Vice Chairman Lee reported to the office after being released at daybreak today and presided over a meeting with senior officials of the Future Strategy Office for about an hour," a Samsung official was quoted by the outlet as saying.

    Prosecutors requested an arrest warrant for Lee on Monday. He is suspected of paying multimillion bribes to a friend of the Korean president in return for state support of a controversial merger.

    President Park Geun-hye’s confidante, Choi Soon-sil, is on trial for alleged influence-peddling and meddling in state affairs. The corruption scandal led the Korean parliament to impeach Park and brought thousands of protesters to the streets in the past months.

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