SEOUL, Feb. 12 (Xinhua) -- South Korean prosecutors said Sunday that the heir apparent of Samsung Group, the country's biggest family-run conglomerate, will be summoned the following day for bribery charges related to impeached President Park Geun-hye.
Lee Kyu-chul, spokesman of the special prosecutors independently investigating the scandal involving Park, told a press briefing that Samsung Electronics Vice Chairman Lee Jae-yong will be called in at 9:30 a.m. local time on Monday along with two senior executives of the country's biggest tech company at 10 a.m. on the same day.
Lee and the two will be questioned about additionally discovered situations involving the bribery case, according to the spokesman.
Lee is suspected of providing financial assistance to President Park's longtime confidante Choi Soon-sil, who is at the center of the presidential scandal and now is in custody, and making donations to two nonprofit foundations Choi controlled in return for getting help in the 2015 merger of two Samsung affiliates.
The merger between Samsung C&T and Cheil Industries to create a de-facto holding company was very crucial to Vice Chairman Lee to inherit the group's overall management control from his ailing father Chairman Lee Kun-hee who has been hospitalized for almost three years.
Lee was summoned on Jan. 12 for questioning, and the independent counsel team sought to detain the Samsung heir a week later. A Seoul court rejected the arrest warrant for the vice chairman on Jan. 19.
The spokesman told reporters that additional investigations into the bribery case had been conducted in the past three weeks following the rejection of arrest warrant for Lee, saying there are additional findings to be confirmed by the vice chairman through interrogation.
Whether to re-attempt an arrest warrant for Lee can be decided this week after the interrogation, the spokesman said, opening a possibility for detention of the vice chairman.
A group of special prosecutors raided the offices of the country's anti-trust body and financial regulator on Feb. 3 to collect further evidences and documents involving the bribery case.
Prosecutors reportedly suspect that the regulators may have helped revise laws on the holding company in a bid to make it easy for the Samsung heir to succeed the management control over the group's financial affiliates.
Under local law to separate industrial capital from financial one, Samsung's new de-facto holding company which was created by combining the industrial affiliates is now allowed to control a financial unit such as Samsung Life Insurance which is a majority shareholder of Samsung Electronics.