Top Samsung Officials interrogated over South Korean president bribery case

According to reports in South Korea, Two top Samsung officials have been probed as part of the corruption scandal around South Korea’s accused president, Park Geun-hye.

The tech giant is alleged of giving large donations to non-profit foundations operated by Choi Soon-sil, a close friend of Ms Park.

The aid were allegedly given in exchange for political backing of a controversial merger. Ms Choi has been charged with strong-arming and attempted fraud.

Reports said that, Choi Gee-sung, a Samsung vice chairman, and Chang Choong-ki, a president at the group, were being interrogated on Monday by special prosecutors about the fraud allegations.

The pair reportedly were being treated as witnesses, rather than being doubted of any wrongdoing.

The assertions loops around a merger between the electronics giant’s building arm, Samsung C&T, and a partner firm, Cheil Industries.

The agreement went through despite noteworthy resistance from shareholders, who said it would hurt smaller shareholders while profiting the family of Samsung’s group owner Lee Kun-hee.

In the meantime, South Korea’s National Pension Service (NPS), which owns stakes in both firms, wrapped the deal by voting in favor of it and the head of the NPS has since been arrested.

However prosecutors also claim that tech company gave €2.8m euros ($3.1m; £2.5m) to a firm co-owned by Ms Choi and her daughter, in return for Ms Park’s provision for the deal.

Choi Soon-Sil being escorted after questioning at the Seoul Central District Prosecutors

Furthermore in a parliamentary session last month, senior ofifcial of Samsung self-confessed the firm gave money to help the equestrian career of Ms Choi’s daughter, Chung Yoo-ra.

Samsung’s de-facto head, Lee Jae-yong confirmed that the company had paid for a horse for Ms Chung – though to be worth around $850,000 – saying he regretted the move.

Almost eight different companies have so far confessed donating funds linked to President Park Geun-hye, but rebuff nepotisms or favoritism.