Samsung's heir apparent Lee Jae-yong is now under arrest in connection with the massive corruption scandal gripping Korea.
Our Hwang Hojun who has been reporting from the independent counsel office since last December is here with us in the studio today.
Good evening Daniel.
We cannot overstate the gravity of this news.
You're absolutely right.
Lee Jae-yong's arrest has sent shockwaves across Korea and abroad as it's expected to have as-yet untold repercussions not only for the investigation but also on the Korean economy.
I mean this is the head of the most powerful company in Korea who's now in police custody.
The Seoul Central District Court approved the arrest warrant requested by the independent counsel team in the early hours of Friday morning.
This was the team's second request, which it filed on Tuesday.
In filing for the second warrant, the counsel expanded the charges against Lee to include diverting assets overseas and concealing the gains from a criminal act.
That's on top of the original charges of bribery, embezzlement and perjury the team filed against Lee with its first arrest warrant request that was rejected last month.
The court explained its ruling via a text message to reporters, saying (quote) "the rationale for and the necessity of Lee's arrest is acknowledged considering the new charges and additional evidence collected."
So just to refresh everybody's memory, the Korean tech giant is accused of giving nearly 38 million dollars to entities controlled by President Park's confidante Choi Soon-sil, in exchange for support of a 2015 merger of two Samsung affiliates,.. that's Samsung C&T and Cheil Industries, that was deemed critical to cementing Lee's succession to the top of Samsung Group.