Samsung heir faces drug abuse probe
On early January 19, 2017, Samsung Electronics Vice Chairman Lee Jae-yong was waiting for the court decision all night at a detention center near Seoul.
Back then, he was ensnared in a bribery scandal involving former President Park Geun-hye. The court ruled not to arrest him, allowing him to leave the detention center at 6:15 a.m.
After avoiding what could be the first arrest of his life, what did Lee do? Only the Samsung heir and his close aides would know.
But a recent report of Newstapa claimed that he received an illegal injection of a powerful anesthetic, called propofol, immediately after the release.
Late last week, the news outlet came up with an interview with a whistle-blower, who claims to be the boyfriend of a nurse suspected of having regularly administered the addictive drug to Lee at a clinic in Seoul.
The whistle-blower alleged that he saw Vice Chairman Lee take propofol at the hospital.
The Newstapa footage also showed messages between the nurse and a figure who Newstapa claimed to be the Samsung heir.
According to the report, the figure sent a message to the nurse at 8:18 a.m. January 19, 2017, saying, “I’m back, alive.” The figure also asked whether the figure could visit the clinic at 11:00. Later the day, the figure thanked the nurse.
If the report is true, that means that Vice Chairman Lee contacted the clinic just two hours after his release to visit there to take propofol.
Newstapa insisted that the figure visited the clinic eight times between January 17 and February 14.
Vice Chairman Lee, who was eventually imprisoned on February 17, 2017, after being sentenced to a five-year jail term, flatly denied the report through Samsung Electronics.
Samsung said that Lee had never illegally taken a drug. The company also said that it will check whether to file lawsuits against the news outlet for its “malicious false report.”
The prosecution and the court are expected to conclude which side is telling the truth as the former reportedly started a probe into the controversial case.