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Last Updated: Friday, 23 November 2007, 11:55 GMT
Fresh corruption probe at Samsung
Samsung offices in Seoul
Samsung denies any wrongdoing.
South Korea's parliament has voted to allow an independent investigation into corruption allegations at Samsung.

The move came after one of the firm's former executives accused the company of bribing police and politicians to stop probes into its management.

Samsung vigorously denies the claims, which also include allegations it used a slush fund to finance bribes.

South Korean authorities have stepped up anti-corruption activities, going after some of its largest companies.

'Public confidence'

The National Assembly passed a bill demanding the investigation at Samsung on Friday.

Its remit includes examining whether the firm made improper payments during campaigning for the 2002 presidential election.

State prosecutors have already begun an investigation into allegations of wrongdoing at Samsung, but in the bill MPs said that this could not "earn the people's confidence".

Samsung said that it was "regretful that an independent counsel probe will take place when the business environment is in a difficult situation".

Earlier this year, six Samsung executives pleaded guilty in the US to charges of fixing the price of microchips.

In February, the chairman of Hyundai Motor Company - one of South Korea's biggest firms - was sentenced to three years in jail for embezzlement and breach of trust.

And last year South Korean prosecutors raided the offices of Citigroup in Seoul as part of a probe into the sale of a local bank to a US investment fund.

SEE ALSO
Samsung boss admits price fixing
20 Apr 07 |  Business
Hyundai's boss gets three years
05 Feb 07 |  Business
S Korea raids Citigroup over KEB
17 Oct 06 |  Business

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