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South Korea to Probe Samsung over Alleged Bribes

The president of South Korea this week gave his go-ahead for a non-government probe into charges of influence peddling and bribery by the nation’s biggest conglomerate, the Samsung Group.

Troubles for the group, which includes major HD products maker Samsung Electronics, came shortly after the national legislature approved an independent counsel to look into charges that Samsung had set up a slush fund of as much as $215 million to bribe government officials, including judges and prosecutors, to act favorably on laws, licenses, and regulations that would benefit Samsung, according to the Associated Press.

The probe, which has a lifespan of 125 days to conduct its business, was the result of initial allegations by a former Samsung executive (who is also a former prosecutor himself) about the existence of the slush fund.