Crime & Justice

South Korea to grant parole to Samsung heir, imprisoned since January

Seoul, Aug 9 (EFE).- The South Korean authorities announced Monday that it will grant parole, or the presidential pardon, to Samsung technology group’s heir Lee Jae-yong, who has been in prison since January for his role in a corruption scandal.

Justice Minister Park Boom-kye announced that Lee will be released on parole on the occasion of National Liberation Day, which falls on Aug.15 and is when these presidential pardons are usually granted.

She added that his release will take effect on Aug.13.

The decision was approved by the ministry’s parole committee after a meeting Monday to review inmates who have completed the requirements for parole eligibility after serving 60 percent of their prison terms.

Lee was serving a two and a half-year sentence for his involvement in the so-called corruption scheme created by former president Park Geun-hye’s close personal aide, Choi Soon-sil – dubbed the South Korean “Rasputin” by local media -, which ended with Park’s removal and imprisonment.

The court found Lee guilty of paying bribes to Choi – who had influence over Park – to help him become the leader of the Samsung Group after his father, the group’s chairman Lee Kun-hee, had a heart attack in 2014 which left him incapacitated till his death in October last year.

Lee was sentenced to five years in prison in 2017 but was released in 2018 when an appeals court reduced his sentence.

However, in August 2019, the Supreme Court presented additional charges against Lee, leading to a retrial of the case. EFE


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