With Samsung scion held in small cell, South Korea continues probe

With Samsung scion held in small cell, South Korea continues probe
With Samsung scion held in small cell, South Korea continues probe

The special prosecutor's office accuses Lee of bribing a close friend of the president to gain government favors related to leadership succession at the conglomerate. It said on Friday it will indict him on charges including bribery, embezzlement, hiding assets overseas and perjury.

"It might be a good chance for them enhance their corporate governance system. They have been relying too much on this family control system for many decades, so this might be a good chance for professional managers to actually run the empire," Lee Ji-soo, a lawyer at the Center for Good Corporate Governance told CNBC.

There are, however, those who think the arrest of the Samsung leader is a baby step in bringing sweeping changes to chaebols, given that the cozy relationship between the political circle and Korean conglomerates has been a chronic problem.

"I don't expect anything very concrete out of the National Assembly. Just a lot of talk and no action. But it will be a big issue in the coming presidential election," Anthony Michell from the Korea Associates Business Consultancy said on CNBC Asia's "Squawk Box."

The Constitutional Court in South Korea is reviewing the impeachment of President Park Geun-hye. If the impeachment is ruled to be merited, the country has 60 days to hold a presidential election.

In the meantime, the special prosecutor's office has also requested to the office of the prime minister or the acting president at the moment for more time to probe other chaebols. SK, Lotte, CJ and Posco are also believed to have links to the scandal as well, according to Yonhap Agency.

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—Reuters contributed to this report.

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