South Korean prosecutors investigating the corruption scandal that led to the impeachment of the country's president have asked for the arrest of Samsung's acting chief, Lee Jae-yong, son of the Samsung group chairman Lee Kun-hee who has been ill in recent years.
The prosecutors have been conducting a probe into Samsung's financial support of a business and foundations backed by President Park Geun-hye's friend Choi Soon-sil. Samsung is South Korea's biggest conglomerate.
Park is accused of colluding with her longtime friend to force or bribe Korean conglomerates to donate over $65 million to two dubious foundations, and to turn a blind eye while Choi funneled some of the funds and lucrative side contracts to companies owned by herself and her friends.
In December, the National Assembly voted overwhelmingly to impeach Park on charges of abuse of power, bribery and infringement of press freedom in connection with an alleged multi-million dollar influence peddling scandal.
Park has been suspended from office, but continues to live in the presidential Blue House.