The independent counsel investigating the presidential crony scandal on Tuesday again asked a court for an arrest warrant for de facto Samsung chief Lee Jae-yong on five charges, including bribing President Park Geun-hye.
The court turned down the first application for an arrest warrant on Jan. 19.
The Seoul Central District Court reviews the warrant on Thursday.
In a brief to the court, the independent counsel said Lee is charged with perjury in the National Assembly, bribery, embezzlement, capital flight overseas, and concealing the proceeds of a crime.
The charges relate to some W43.3 billion Samsung paid either directly or indirectly to Park's confidante Choi Soon-sil (US$1=W1,140).
The conglomerate donated W20.4 billion to the dubious Mir and K-Sports foundations that Choi controlled and another W8 billion to a paper company she ran in Germany. It also donated W1.6 billion to a youth winter sports foundation established by Choi's niece Jang Si-ho.
The embezzlement charge relates to suspicions that Lee told staff to divert company money for the bribe, and he is charged with capital flight overseas for failing to report the forex transactions.
Lee has admitted giving the money to Choi but told a National Assembly committee that Samsung, like six other top conglomerates, merely caved in to pressure from Cheong Wa Dae but did not bribe Park and Choi in return for favors.
The five charges suggest that the independent counsel is throwing everything at Lee to make the corruption charges against Park stick. They come amid an admission from investigators that their tight deadline makes it impossible to probe the other conglomerates that also poured huge sums into Choi's slush funds.