Special prosecutors grill Samsung's heir over bribery charges for 2nd day

Special prosecutors on Sunday questioned the de facto leader of Samsung Group for the second straight day on suspicions of bribery in connection into a corruption scandal involving President Park Geun-hye and her friend, officials said, source from the Yonhap.

Investigators summoned Lee Jae-yong, the vice chairman of Samsung Electronics Co., who is now in custody, on suspicion that he gave or promised to offer billions of won worth of bribes to Park's jailed friend Choi Soon-sil in return for business favors.

On Feb. 17, Lee was formally arrested amid suspicion that the kickback to Choi amounted to bribes to Park. Sunday's questioning marked the fifth one since his arrest. Lee has denied the allegation.

The president is accused by the independent counsel of ordering her health minister to press the state pension fund to back a merger of two Samsung units, a key step for the smooth management succession to Lee from his ailing father Lee Kun-hee.

Lee has stringently denied his business group gave bribes to Choi. President Park has also rejected allegations of wrongdoing.

Special investigators are currently wrapping up their probe into the high-profile scandal following parliament's December vote to impeach Park.

A deadline for the special inquiry is set to end this month if Acting President and Prime Minister Hwang Kyo-ahn does not approve an extension.

The Constitutional Court is also reviewing the legality of the impeachment motion and plans to hold final arguments Monday.

A local court allowed an extension of Samsung heir's detention until March 8. Investigators said that if the deadline for the probe is not extended, they plan to indict him within the month.

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