The President of South Korea, President Yoon Suk Yeol has pardon Samsung’s heir, Jay Y. Lee, and cleared him of bribery allegations in hopes of revitalizing the country’s economy. Lee was originally sentenced to 5 years in prison in 2017 after being guilty bribed public officials to support the merger of two Samsung affiliates, which would have cemented his control over the tech giant. He walk freely After a year in detention, the Korean Supreme Court overturned that decision and ordered a retrial of the case.
While Lee was convicted with two and a half years in prison in early 2021 during that retrial, he was parole half a year later in a development that citizen groups have described as another example of the country’s lenient justice system for its elites. Now, Lee doesn’t have to worry about going to jail for bribery anymore – the president’s pardon even allows him to rejoin Samsung’s board and go abroad to complete deals. Translate. Previously, he was not allowed to take up an official role at Samsung under the conditions of his parole, although the company’s executives have been constantly monitoring him on the latest developments.
Based on Bloomberg, Lee is now expected to make major strategic decisions for the tech giant, including deals related to chip manufacturing. The Korean government said in a statement:
“In an effort to overcome the economic crisis by revitalizing the economy, Samsung Electronics Vice Chairman Lee Jae-yong, who recently got out of prison, will be reinstated.”
Similarly, Justice Minister Han Dong Hoon said at a press conference:
“Given the urgent need to overcome the national economic crisis, we have carefully selected economic leaders who will lead the country’s growth engine through active technology investment and create work for amnesty.”
In it latest earnings report, Samsung posted a 12% profit increase on weak PC and mobile demand, which it blamed on “geopolitical issues and inflation concerns coupled with continued weak seasonality.” The company also expects demand for consumer devices to continue to be weak in the coming months.
Like Bloomberg said, it is still unclear whether Lee intends to take over as chairman of Samsung, a position that has been vacant since his father Lee Kun-hee passed away in 2020. However, the it’s worth noting that Lee is still not entirely free of legal problems, and could still face jail time if he is found guilty in a separate case of fraud and stock manipulation. He will continue to attend hearings related to that case.
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