A South Korean court turned down the request for an arrest warrant for Samsung Group heir Jay Y. Lee on Tuesday.
Prosecutors have accused him of accounting fraud and stock manipulation, as part of a probe into questionable merger dealings from 2015.
The Seoul District Court said in a statement, "It appears that prosecutors have secured considerable amount of evidence through their investigation,but they fell short of explaining the validity to detain Lee."
He has already served time in jail two years ago for his part in a bribery scandal - linked to former President Park Geun-hye.
Lee is the son of the Chairman of Samsung - the world's top smartphone and memory chip maker.
The company has denied the allegations.