South Korea prosecutor says Samsung's Lee paid bribes to Park's friend

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South Korea's special prosecutor's office said on Monday that Samsung Group leader Jay Y. Lee had paid bribes totaling 43 billion won ($36.42 million) to Choi Soon-sil, the friend of President Park Geun-hye at the center of an escalating corruption scandal.

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The prosecutor's office said on Monday it will seek a warrant to arrest Lee on charges of bribery and embezzlement.

Lee Kyu-chul, a spokesman for the prosecutor's office, told journalists that arrest warrants would not be sought for three other Samsung executives questioned during the investigation.

($1 = 1,180.5300 won)

(Reporting by Se Young Lee; Writing by Christine Kim; Editing by Simon Cameron-Moore)