Samsung heir and the wealthiest person in South Korea, Lee Jae-Yong, was jailed a few months ago on bribery and capital crime charges. He was initially sentenced to serve 2.5 years in jail. However, there have been talks about him getting released from prison ahead of time, thanks to a possible pardon from the South Korean president. Now, the chairman of the ruling party in the country has mentioned Lee’s pardon.
Representative Song Young-Gi, who is the chairman of the Democratic Party, hinted at the potential parole of Lee Jae-Yong. “(Lee) could possibly be freed on parole, not limited only to a pardon,” he said during an interview with Yonhap News Agency. It was his first press interview since being chosen as the party’s head. He also stressed that Lee needs to be in the office, not in jail so that investments could be made in semiconductor and vaccine segments.
Last week, it was reported that South Korean President Moon Jae-In was undecided on Lee’s pardon. However, most business leaders and people in the country support the idea of pardoning Samsung’s heir and chairman. Even US companies are pushing for Lee’s pardon as Samsung is a crucial chip manufacturing partner to many companies in the west. Buddhist monks of the highest order in South Korea are gunning for the pardon as well.
Usually, South Korean presidents pardon jailed people on Liberation Day on August 15 every year. With the global chip shortage troubling many companies and Samsung being the most significant GDP contributor to the South Korean economy, it is entirely possible that Lee will be pardoned and would be allowed to head Samsung.