SEOUL, Jan. 16 (UPI) -- Samsung Vice Chairman Lee Jae-yong is facing arrest under allegations he gave some $36 million in bribes to South Korean President Park Geun-hye and her close aide, Choi Soon-sil, to curry favor with the government.
Prosecutors said Lee, also known as Jay Y. Lee, also made payments to Choi's foundations in exchange for assistance from Park to facilitate ownership control of Samsung. In total, Lee is accused of facilitating some $36 million in bribes to garner support for a merger between two Samsung affiliates.
On Monday, Special Prosecutor Park Young-soo asked a Seoul court to grant an arrest warrant. Lee will appear before a judge Wednesday to determine whether an arrest warrant should be granted. The process typically takes several days.
The move is part of a massive corruption scandal that has rocked South Korea. Lee has denied any allegations of wrongdoing.
"We have enough evidence to establish President Park and Choi Soon-sil as co-conspirators sharing profits" in the bribery scheme, Lee Kyu-chul, a spokesman for the special prosecutor, said during a news briefing.
On Dec. 9, South Korea's National Assembly legislature voted to impeach Park in a 234 to 56 vote. If Lee is arrested on bribery charges, Park would come under further suspicion for her role in colluding to collect millions from Samsung and other businesses in exchange for political favors. Park and Choi have denied wrongdoing.