The pardon of Samsung leader Jay Y Lee has been granted by the president

By TechThop Team

Posted on: 12 Aug, 2022

The president pardoned Samsung vice chairman Lee Jae-yong, also known as Jay Y Lee. As part of a list of 1,693 people pardoned by the country's justice ministry, Lee was included to help overcome the 'national economic crisis.'

A special pardon is granted in South Korea by presidential decree ahead of Independence Day on August 15, which commemorates the end of Japanese colonial rule over 70 years ago.

As for Lee, he did not receive a full pardon, instead he received a lesser rehabilitation, which means that his criminal record remains unchanged but he no longer has the rights restricted from his conviction.

He had been found guilty of bribery and embezzlement in January last year and had been released from prison on parole in August of that same year, after being found guilty of the same crimes. 

As a result of the guilty verdict, he was restricted from certain employments for five years, so he was not able to hold a key position at Samsung, such as the inside director, which now he can do.

While it may seem like Lee no longer faces legal risks with the recent pardon, he is still facing the threat of being tried on a separate charge for alleged stock price manipulation involving two Samsung affiliates, despite the latest pardon.

As a result of the pardon, the vice chairman thanked the government and people for giving him this opportunity and stated that he would do his best to contribute to the economy and create jobs.

The vice chairman has been more visible in his business activities since the beginning of the year. During his May visit to South Korea, Lee personally showed US President Joe Biden Samsung's semiconductor technology.

As part of its announcement of a $355 billion five-year spending plan for what Samsung refers to as its strategic businesses, which includes semiconductors, Samsung also announced a separate spending plan of $275 billion.

 The chief executive officer of ASML, Peter Wennink, was also in Europe when he visited. Samsung relies on ASML's equipment for making advanced semiconductors.

Samsung may announce a major acquisition following Lee's pardon, or he may be promoted to president, the top position in the entire company that has been vacant since Lee Kun-hee died in 2020.

 Throughout last year, Samsung had consistently said that it was active in the acquisition process of multiple companies to expand its business.

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