In a Blow to Prosecutor, South Korean Court Blocks Arrest of Samsung Group Leader

Jay Y. Lee, the leader of Samsung, leaving court in Seoul on Wednesday. Credit Jung Yeon-Je/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

SEOUL, South Korea — A South Korean court on Thursday blocked a prosecutor’s attempt to arrest Jay Y. Lee, the leader of Samsung, saying there was not enough evidence that Mr. Lee had bribed President Park Geun-hye, in a scandal that led to her impeachment.

A justice on the Central District Court in Seoul, Cho Eui-yeon, rejected the prosecutor’s request to issue an arrest warrant, saying said it was “difficult to recognize the need” to incarcerate Mr. Lee.

Mr. Lee, a third-generation scion and vice chairman of Samsung, one of the world’s biggest conglomerates, was immediately released from a detention center outside Seoul, where he had been waiting for the court to decide whether he should be formally arrested.

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