Just a day after it announced the discovery of another tablet PC belonging to Choi Soon-sil -- and containing possible possible evidence against her -- the independent counsel team has announced another bombshell.
"The independent counsel will summon Lee Jae-yong, the vice chairman of Samsung Electronics, at 9:30 a.m. Thursday, to question him as a suspect on charges of bribery."
Earlier this week, the special prosecutors team questioned two high-level executives from Samsung's Future Strategy Office, the conglomerate's control tower, likely as a prelude to summoning the de facto leader.
Samsung Group allegedly signed a consulting contract in 2015 worth more than 18 million U.S. dollars with Core Sports, a company based in Germany owned by Choi Soon-sil herself. Part of the money was paid.
The independent counsel team wants to question Vice chairman Lee over whether the funds were provided in exchange for her influence to secure support for a controversial merger between two Samsung affiliates, Samsung C&T and Cheil Industries, in 2015.
Choi is suspected of using her connection with President Park to pressure the state-run National Pension Service to support the merger.
"The media spotlight will be right here at the independent counsel office on Thursday when Lee Jae-yong, the de facto leader of Samsung, takes this elevator to be questioned as a suspect.
It's highly likely he'll assert that he and his company are the victims of blackmail and coercion by the Presidential office.
Hwang Hojun, Arirang News."