This week, Lee Jae-yong, the Vice Chairman of Samsung group went on to get presidential pardon. This step from August 12 comes across as the newest instance of the practice of letting go of business heads accused of corruption in the economic fields.
In January 2021, the billionaire heir of the company was convicted of involvement in embezzlement and bribery. South Korean Justice Minister Han Dong-hoon stated how the de facto leader would be ‘reinstated’ in order to provide him with an opportunity to put his contribution to ‘overcoming’ South Korea’s economic crisis.
According to Forbes, the Samsung heir is currently the 278th richest person all over, possessing a net worth $7.9 billion. Reports stated how got a release on parole last year in August following the 18 months he spent in jail, signifying a bit more than half of his first sentence.
Notably, the pardon from this week would enable him to entirely go back to work. Mainly, through the removal of the post-prison work restriction which was to stay in place for a span of five years. This would mark Lee’s return to work after his time in prison.
Statement from the Justice Ministry:
While addressing Lee’s reinstatement to the industry, Justice Minister Han referred to the economic crisis the world is facing. He said how owing to this, the economy of South Korea is going through a deterioration of its energy and strength. Further, he stated how many are scared that the economic downturn would end up lasting for a while. Further, the ministry specified how Lee, along other high profile leaders, are receiving this pardon so that they contribute to the country’s ongoing growth engine by rigorously investing in tech and employment.
Along with the Samsung head, three other business executives got the pardon on August 12. This included Shin Dong-bin, the Chairman of the Lotte Group who was convicted of bribery about four years ago, getting a sentence of suspended two-and half-year time in jail.
The total turnover of the largest smartphone maker, Samsung Electronics Ltd represents around one-fifth of the entire South Korean gross domestic product. Lee held the postion of the vice chairman of this company, and was convicted in relation to a huge corruption case which led to the downfall of Park Geun-hye, the former president of South Korea. This counts as only one of the instances when South Korea saw a range of businessmen getting convicted of such offences.