Samsung heir named suspect in South Korean political scandal
South Korean authorities said Wednesday that a Samsung scion will be questioned as a suspect in a bribery case in the massive influence-peddling scandal that led to the impeachment of the country's president.
Lee Jae-yong, Samsung Electronics' vice chairman, will be summoned to face questions by investigators probing whether South Korea's largest business group bribed a jailed confidante of President Park Geun-hye to win favors, said Hong Jong-seok, a spokesman for the special prosecutor team investigating the scandal.
Those possible favors include getting the government's backing on a controversial Samsung merger in 2015 that was opposed by minority shareholders, Hong said by phone.
Lee and members of his family were the biggest beneficiaries of the merger of Samsung C&T and Cheil Industries, which helped Lee increase his control over Samsung Electronics without having to spend his money to buy its shares.
The former health minister overseeing the government-controlled national pension fund was arrested last year. The pension fund, the biggest shareholder in Samsung C&T, voted for the merger even though its advisers recommended voting against it, giving the crucial vote Samsung needed to secure shareholder approval.
Prosecutors are expected to grill Lee starting Thursday regarding why Samsung Group sent corporate funds to Choi Soon-sil, the jailed confidante, including buying costly horses for her daughter, who was on the national dressage team.
Samsung Group did not immediately respond to an email Wednesday seeking comment.
Two Samsung executives, including a man known as Lee's mentor, were questioned in the case earlier this week.
When Lee appeared at a public hearing last month, he told lawmakers that he was not aware of the decision to fund Choi's daughter. He also denied that Samsung tried to win favors through the funds. Lee, the only son of Samsung's ailing chairman and a grandson of the company's founder, acknowledged that it was "inappropriate" but "inevitable" to send money to Choi (pronounced Chwey). He did not elaborate further.
Prosecutors asked lawmakers to file a complaint against Lee for alleged perjury at the hearing. Cho Myung-sik, a parliamentary official, said Wednesday that lawmakers had received the request and would review it.
Authorities declined Wednesday to confirm how much money Samsung spent on Choi's companies or foundations. Samsung Group declined to comment when asked about the matter last week.
According to local media and legislators, Samsung signed a contract worth over $18 million with Choi's company to bankroll her daughter's equestrian training in Germany and donated another $17 million to two nonprofit foundations whose funds were allegedly for Choi's personal use.
Hong, the spokesman, said that prosecutors have examined a tablet PC that Choi had owned and found details about what type of benefits Samsung provided to her, including the Samsung funds used in Germany.
Once prosecutors finish questioning Lee, they will determine whether to add more Samsung officials on a list of suspects, Hong said.
President Park's powers have been suspended since Dec. 9, when South Korea's opposition-controlled parliament voted to impeach her over the scandal. Her trial is currently being held at the Constitutional Court to decide whether she will be permanently removed from power.
NRA website gives wrong information about rebuilt houses
The number of houses rebuilt after the earthquake uploaded in the official website of National Reconstruction Authority (NRA) does not match the same data of the Ministry of Urban Development. The NRA, the government body formed to carry out reconstruction efforts after the Gorkha earthquake, is found giving wrong information about the number of houses rebuilt after the disaster.
EC to launch Local level Election Monitoring Directives-2017
The Election Commission (EC) is going to launch the Local level Election Monitoring Directives-2017 to streamline the monitoring of the local level election scheduled to be held May 14 this year. The Directives is currently being drafted and the Commission will launch it at the earliest, according to the Commission's Spokesperson Surya Prasad Sharma.
Priyanka Gandhi's daughter predicted to revive Congress
Priyanka Gandhi Vadra's daughter Miraya will revive Congress party, senior Congress leader Janardhan Poojary claimed quoting a prophecy from Haridwar astrologer even as Congressmen are hoping that Priyanka will enter active politics to revive the sagging fortunes of the party. Miraya Vadra is the 14- year-old daughter of Priyanka and Robert.
UML late leader Devi's body kept at party office
The body of CPN-UML leader and lawmaker Dulari Devi has been kept at the party central office, Dhumrabarahi in the capital. She was injured in a road accident in Sitamadi of India on March 16 and was undergoing treatment in the Lalitpur-based B&B hospital. She breathed her last on Thursday night in course of treatment.
- Sit-in before administration demanding revision in Solukhumbu
We take pride in Sagarmatha and also Bhagwan Buddha. We should introspect as to what has been “our” contribution in the making of both. The tallest mountain landmark is the outcome of tectonic push against the bigger landmass creating the upward drift that created the Himalaya. Prince Siddhartha, on the other hand, was born 2556 years ago or 23 centuries before Nepal got unified under Prithivi Narayan Shah. Siddhartha is believed to have attained enlightenment at the age of 35 or around six years after leaving Kapilvastu.
All this pointed that the election will be held with public support despite efforts by those against it. But all that changed after three people were killed in Rajbiraj after the police opened fire on Madhesi Front cadres who were ‘hurling petrol bombs’ toward the venue where UML Chairman KP Oli had just finished his short address.
Men at work
Currently the larger part of our urban area resembles a war zone with bulldozers and mechanical diggers running amok. What is left behind the unfinished work typically consists of mangled water pipes, jumbled up and torn telephone and electric wires, mounds of dug earth and gravel heaps, unfilled ditches and incomplete manholes.
A great aviator in the Nepali skies
Deepak was not only a competent pilot but also someone who had the inner strength to always remain cool, calm, and collected. That nature helped him make a total of three emergency landings in his career as a pilot when he suddenly had to deal with technical malfunctions while flying an aircraft.
Traffic Police in Kathmandu
As busy and hassling as the traffic system in Kathmandu is, the Traffic Police here have to handle an equally strenuous job. Over 1,400 traffic officers in and around the Kathmandu Valley battle against the pestering traffic and air pollution each day.
Menstrual taboo outdated
I have seen my sisters and friends isolated and treated in discriminatory manner during their first menstruation cycle. They were not allowed to look at the sun, to touch water source, flower, fruits, any male family member, nor even hear their voice. The activist may claim the situation has changed and I do agree but still during every month my loved ones turns into untouchables beings.