Lee Jae-yong: Billionaire Samsung boss gets presidential pardon to ‘overcome the economic crisis’

Opposition leader Park Yong-jin says pardon confirms widely-held belief that ‘you are free if you are rich, but guilty if poor’

Shweta Sharma
Friday 12 August 2022 16:04 BST
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Samsung heir Lee Jae-yong, who was convicted of bribery and embezzlement in 2017, has been granted presidential pardon in the latest example of South Korea’s long history of freeing convicted business moguls.

Mr Lee, the de facto head of the Samsung conglomerate, served 18 months in jail for embezzling $8m (£6.6m) from corporate funds in order to bribe former South Korean president Park Geun-hye.

Mr Lee was released on parole in August 2021 with one year left of his 30-month term. The pardon on Friday will allow him to fully return to work.

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