Samsung heir arrested for corruption gets pardon in Korea

This Friday (12), the vice president and heir of Samsung, Lee Jae-yong, received a pardon from the South Korean government to help the country’s economic recovery. The 54-year-old billionaire was convicted of bribery and embezzlement, serving up to 18 months in prison, having been granted parole in August last year.

The decision is nothing new for the South Korean government, which has a certain history of “pardoning for the sake of national development”. In the case at hand, the measure will allow Lee Jae-yong to fully return to work, an activity previously restricted for five years after serving his sentence — set at two and a half years in the original agreement.

In addition, three other businessmen, convicted of similar crimes, received pardons alongside the Samsung heir. In the words of South Korean Justice Minister Han Dong-yong, the newly pardoned will be “reintegrated” and given the opportunity to “contribute to overcoming South Korea’s economic crisis” by investing in technology and creating jobs for the country.

High impact decision

Apparently, Samsung and the South Korean government are on the same page. The company said in a statement that it will continually invest in the country and create “jobs for young people”. As it denotes the G1, The decision is as diplomatic as it is strategic, as the cellphone maker alone accounts for about 1/5 of South Korea’s entire Gross Domestic Product.

On the other hand, it is also important to point out that the South Korean giant did not suffer from the legal problems of Lee Jae-yong, declaring increases of up to 70% in profit margins in the second quarter of this year. Unsurprisingly, the secret to success would have been the growing semiconductor market, heavily affected by the popularization of remote work and the covid-19 pandemic.

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