By Leo Lewis
April 12th, 2010
Lee Kun-Hee, the chairman of Samsung, a tycoon considered by some to be more powerful than South Korea’s President, has endured a humbling day of questioning as his sprawling business empire is investigated for alleged bribery.
It was the second time in five days that the intensely private Mr Lee has faced investigators, whose unprecedented inquiry into Korea’s largest family-run business empire began in January.
Some believe that the investigation, which, rarely for the Seoul corporate world, was triggered by an in-house whistleblower, could eventually lead to the break-up of the Samsung Group.
The inquiry follows allegations by one of Samsung’s own legal team that the company had created a 200 billion won slush fund used for bribing government officials – an accusation denied by Mr Lee and the Samsung Group.