[THE INVESTOR] A close aide of CJ Group Chairman Lee Jay-hyun appears to have played a role in filming the video allegedly showing Lee Kun-hee engaging the services of prostitutes, a local daily reported on March 15.
Citing unnamed sources, Dong-A Ilbo reported that the investigators have found a connection between those who produced the video and a CJ Group official with close ties to Jay-hyun. The report also said that the investigators are now attempting to determine the group’s involvement.
The report identified the official by the initial S, and claimed that the he had managed Jay-hyun’s assets hidden under borrowed names.
The report further identified S as the CJ Group official who testified in court in January 2014 that Samsung Group had offered 8 billion won (US$6.99 million) in return for information on CJ. At the time, the Samsung Electronics chairman and Lee Maeng-hee were engaged in a court battle over hidden assets of Lee Byung-chul, their father and Samsung Group founder.
According to reports, the investigators have secured evidence that S exchanged emails with the alleged blackmailers regarding the video footage.
The blackmailers, led by a former CJ Group employee identified by the surname Seon, produced videos showing a man alleged to be Kun-hee with a number of women. In the videos, filmed between December 2011 and June 2013 in southern Seoul, the man is seen paying and engaging the women in conversation suggesting sexual acts took place.
Seon and his accomplices -- his younger brother and a 38-year old man surnamed Lee -- have been arrested on charges of blackmail, and violation of sexual crime laws. The suspect Lee is reported to have claimed that he has very close relations to late CJ Group Honorary Chairman Lee Maeng-hee.
The investigators are also said to have uncovered evidence that the suspects received large sums of money from Samsung Group, or those associated with the conglomerate.
By Choi He-suk (email@example.com)