South Korea pardons Samsung heir Lee Jae-yong

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12th August 2022 – (Seoul) On the occasion of next week’s Liberation Day anniversary, South Korea’s President Yoon Suk-yeol granted a pardon for Samsung Electronics  Vice Chairman Jay Y. Lee to help overcome a “national economic crisis”, South Korea’s Justice Ministry said on Friday. However, Lee is already out on parole after serving 18 months in jail for bribery.

According to Yonhap News Agency, Justice Minister Han Dong-hoon announced the pardons, which will be the first since President Yoon Suk-yeol took office, after the Cabinet endorses the list during an extraordinary meeting to be presided over by Yoon, officials said. Lee was sentenced to 2 1/2 years in prison in a bribery case involving former President Park Geun-hye and released on parole in August last year. His prison term officially ended on 29th July, but he still needs a pardon to be free of post-prison restrictions and have all his rights reinstated.

Also expected to benefit from the special pardons is Lotte Group Chairman Shin Dong-bin, who was sentenced to a suspended 2 1/2-year prison term in October 2018 in a similar bribery case involving former President Park.

Former President Lee Myung-bak had initially been widely expected to benefit from the pardons but was reportedly ruled out, as Yoon’s approval ratings have fallen to unusually low levels and pardoning the unpopular former president could worsen his standing.

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