A Samsung Electronic's smartphone is displayed at its store in Seoul, South Korea, February 6, 2017. REUTERS/Kim Hong-Ji
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Special prosecution has classified Jay Y. Lee, third-generation leader of Samsung Group, and head of the corporate strategy office Choi Gee-sung as suspects in its bribery investigation on suspicions that Samsung paid money to organizations linked to Park's confidant, Choi Soon-sil, to pave the way for a 2015 merger of two affiliates.Lee, who assumed leadership of Samsung after his father Lee Kun-hee was incapacitated by a May 2014 heart attack, said in a December Parliament hearing over the graft scandal that he plans to disband the office but did not give a specific timeline.Known informally as the "control tower," Samsung's corporate strategy office is the nerve center of the $239 billion business empire since the office was created in December 2010 .Samsung declined Monday to comment on how the conglomerate plans to perform the functions of the strategy office after it is disbanded.
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