A court has denied an arrest warrant request for Samsung heir Lee Jae-yong, after he was accused of accounting fraud and stock manipulation.
The ruling provides at least temporary relief for the de facto head of the South Korean conglomerate.
But Mr Lee isn’t completely in the clear yet as prosecutors said they will continue with their investigation.
The case relates to his alleged role in a 2017 political and business scandal that rocked South Korea.
Last week state prosecutors asked the court to issue an arrest warrant against Mr Lee related to their probe into accounting fraud and the controversial merger of two Samsung businesses, Samsung C&T and Cheil Industries, in 2015.
Prosecutors said the deal helped his plan to take greater control of the group.
On Friday Samsung denied the allegation of stock-manipulation against Mr Lee, saying it was “beyond common sense” to claim he was involved in the decision-making.
In another statement over the weekend, the group said the lengthy probe is weighing on management, which is in “crisis” at a time when the coronavirus pandemic and US-China trade war are adding to uncertainty.
Three top executives, including a vice president, have already been given prison sentences for hiding or destroying evidence in the probe.