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South Korea charges Samsung VP with colluding with government

[JURIST] The Supreme Prosecutors' Office of the Republic of Korea [official website] on Wednesday announced that it added charges to Samsung Vice President Jay Y Lee's indictment alleging collusion between Lee and President Park Geun-hye [Forbes profiles]. Seoul Central District Court Judge Cho Eui-yeon denied prosecutors an arrest warrant in January, stating that the evidence did not support the charges. Prosecutors then summoned [JURIST reports] Lee for further questioning earlier this week, in an attempt to gather further evidence in a case alleging that Lee colluded with impeached-president Park. Lee, who governs Korean business giant Samsung in his father's absence, is alleged to have donated a total of USD $36.42 million to secure the 2015 merger of Samsung C&T and Cheil Industries to non-profit organizations run by Choi Soon-sil, a close friend of the Park, while Park was president.

In October Park proposed [JURIST report] to amend the country's constitutional provision that limits presidents to one term in office. In November the Parliament of South Korea appointed a special prosecutor [JURIST report] to investigate Park for allegedly allowing individuals to influence state affairs. In November two of the president's former aides and a close friend were indicted on corruption charges [JURIST report]. Accused of sharing confidential information and extorting millions of dollars from large corporations with a personal friend, Park was impeached [JURIST report] by an overwhelming vote in December. Park's powers are temporarily suspended while the Constitutional Court considers whether to remove her permanently from her position.

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