Samsung heir Lee Jae-yong released: Samsung’s successor Lee Jae-Yong has been released from a South Korean prison and is now on parole.
He was sentenced to 207 days in prison – more than half of his sentence after committing bribery and extortion in January.
Former President Park Geun-Hye has been jailed for bribery and corruption in the case.
Lee’s grandfather founded Samsung Electronics and has been the actual head since 2014.
Lee made a brief statement to reporters outside the prison.
“I was very concerned about the people. I sincerely apologize,” Lee said. “I hear concerns, criticisms, concerns, and high expectations for myself. I work hard.”
The 53-year-old was sentenced by the high court in January to two and a half years in prison.
Allegedly paying 43bn wins ($ 37.7m; 37 26.7m) to two nonprofit foundations run by Park friend Choi Soon-Sil in exchange for political support — allegations that Lee eventually backed the merger are the way to eventually head the consortium.
This agreement requires support from the government-run National Pension Fund.
At the time of his sentencing, the court ruled that Lee, as head of Samsung, “actively bribed and instructed the president to use his power to assist in his easy succession.”
Lee was convicted of bribery, embezzlement, and concealing $ 8.6 billion ($ 7.8 million; £ 5.75 million) in criminal proceeds.
The Ministry of Justice said it had decided to release Lee after considering the impact of the epidemic on the South Korean economy and global markets.
However, Lee’s parole terms have five business limits – it is unclear whether he will be able to run the company unless he is exempt.
Any foreign tours also require his approval.
Lee is under investigation for fraud and stock manipulation and could face jail time again if convicted.
Source : Analysis By Laura Bicker Seoul Correspondent
This is a financial decision taken by the South Korean Ministry of Justice. Release the Samsung heir and help the country Kovid recover. But it comes at a political cost.
President Moon Jae-in came to power with a firm promise that he would sever ties between big business and government.
Millions of people have been protesting the impeachment of his ancestor, Park Geun-Hye, and more than a thousand civil society groups have written a letter to the so-called “Samsung Crown Prince” apologizing for the protests.
- India vs England, 2nd Test, Day 1: A masterful knock
- Taliban claim control of Kandahar, Afghanistan’s second-largest city
But the pressure to release Jay Y Lee came from the US Chamber of Commerce with Samsung. American businesses have argued that his release is crucial in countering the shortage of computer chips. Samsung is currently considering a multi-billion dollar investment in semiconductor facilities in the US.
It is also worth noting that the law was changed earlier this year to allow inmates to be considered for parole after serving 60% of their sentences. That allowed Mr. Lee to be released today. He did not apologize.
However, as we are here in full swing during the presidential election season in South Korea, what is being calculated by the current administration is that voters will reward the ruling party for its economic decisions rather than if it has kept its previous promises.