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South Korea pardons Samsung's Lee and others

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The Associated Press

Associated Press

Kim Tong-hyung

Seoul, South Korea (AP) — South Korean president pardons Samsung heir Lee Jae-yong for bribery sentence with one year left The president and justice minister announced Friday as part of a massive corruption scandal that overthrew her government.

Lotte Group chairman Shin Dong-bin and his two other top business leaders will be pardoned as well, with convicted business tycoons and serious white-collar workers on his side. South Korea's history of leniency against collar crimes expands. They are among about 1,700 who will be pardoned on Monday, a national holiday that President Yoon Seok-yeol celebrates the liberation of South Korea from Japanese colonial rule at the end of World War II. 22}

Lee's pardon underscores Samsung's enormous influence over countries dependent on technology exports.

Lotte's Shin said in 2018 that then-President Moon Jae-in pardoned Park Jong-un, who was pardoned in December. He was sentenced to a suspended prison sentence for a similar charge of bribing Mr. In addition, Dongguk Steel Chairman Jang Se-ju and STX Group former chairman Kang Duk-soo will be pardoned.

Justice Minister Han Dong-hoon said the amnesty for business tycoons was aimed at "overcoming the economic crisis by encouraging business activity." Yoon previously told reporters his pardon could help create a "peace of mind" in his troubled family life.

} Lee, 54, runs the Samsung Group as Vice Chairman of Samsung Electronics, one of the world's largest manufacturers of computer memory chips and smartphones. He had one year left on his 30-month sentence when he was paroled by the Moon administration last August.

Lee faces a separate trial on charges of stock price manipulation and audit violations related to the 2015 merger.

Polls show that South Koreans, years after the angry protests that overthrew Park in 2017, largely support pardoning Lee, with Samsung reflects its influence in countries that offer smartphones, televisions and credit cards. The apartments people use and live in, and the hospitals where they are born and die.

Business leaders and politicians have also called for Mr. Lee's pardon, and the pardon will allow Samsung to fully restore its right to run its business empire. He said the above decisions could be made more boldly and quickly. South Korean law prohibits people convicted of serious financial crimes from returning to work for five years after completing their sentences.

Critics say that even when Lee was in prison, he was in constant control of Samsung, and after his parole almost fully resumed his managerial duties. increase. Former Minister of Justice Park Bum-gye, who served under the Moon administration, said his activities did not violate the five-year ban because the billionaire heiress has not received wages. defended Lee's involvement in the management of from samsung.

Park Geun-hye was involved in widespread corruption, including conspiring with her longtime best friend Choi Sun-sil to receive millions of dollars in bribes and extortion from Samsung. Convicted of a crime. other major companies during her tenure.

She faces more than 20 years in prison until President Moon pardoned her in December, citing the need to promote unity in a politically divided country. Was.

Chan was released on parole in 2018 and has about three and a half years left in prison for embezzling millions of dollars in corporate funds, part of which she used to gamble in Las Vegas. It was 6 months.

Last year, South Korea's Supreme Court gave her Kang, who led her STX from 2003 to 2014, a suspended sentence on charges of embezzlement of corporate funds and other crimes. sentenced to imprisonment.