There’s a small glimmer of sunshine for what has been an extremely gloomy year for Samsung. A court in Seoul’s Central District has rejected an arrested warrant for Samsung vice-chairman/heir-apparent Jay Y. Lee that was issued by prosecutors earlier this week.
The warrant was a result of bribery and embezzlement charges that also landed South Korea’s recently impeached president Park Geun-hye in serious political hot water.
According to Reuters, the decision not to arrest Lee came after 22 hours of questioning and an overnight stay for the executive as the court reached its verdict.
The court issued an official statement shortly after issuing the decision. “After reviewing the contents and the process of the investigation so far… it is difficult to acknowledge the necessity and substantiality of an arrest at the current stage.”
Both Samsung and Lee have denied any wrongdoing in the case, and both are naturally happy with the outcome. The company issued its own statement in the wake of the decision. “We appreciate the fact that the merits of this case can now be determined without the need for detention.”
Of course, this is hardly the end of the saga. The scandal has proven a deep and strange one for the company and country, which, according to charges, involves the funneling of money to Choi Soon-sil, the daughter of a religious leader said to have sway over Park.
Lee, for his part, has been operating as the head of the corporation since his father, Lee Kun-hee, suffered a heart attack two years ago, and is widely considered to be his successor as the head of the company.