Samsung Heir Gets Presidential Pardon for Bribery Charges, May Rejoin Company

Samsung Vice Chairman Jay Y. Lee has received a full presidential pardon from graft charges, effective August 15 — reports Bloomberg.

The 54-year-old heir to the Samsung empire previously spent 18 months in prison for bribery charges. He was originally sentenced to 30 months of jail time for allegedly bribing a sitting president for business favours.

Lee was released on parole about a year ago. However, the terms of his release barred him from taking up employment anywhere for five years. The Samsung exec has now been absolved of his crimes South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol.

Come August 15, Lee will be able to rejoin Samsung’s board of directors, regain leadership of the company, and travel overseas for deals.

The formerly-imprisoned executive apologized to the Korean public on Friday,  “I will try harder to give back to society and grow together,” he said in a statement.

With the chipmaking race heating up while most of the world feels the effects of an economic slowdown, Samsung is in need of firm leadership to guide it through the storm and ensure it comes out stronger. The company is one of the largest contributors to South Korea’s economy.

“In a bid to overcome the economic crisis by vitalizing the economy, Samsung Electronics Vice Chairman Lee Jae-yong, whose suspended prison term was ended recently, will be reinstated,” the Korean government said in a joint statement from its ministries.

Lee’s reinstatement will fast-track strategic decisions and business deals at Samsung. He is expected to steer the tech giant with a firm hand in times of widespread uncertainty.

Samsung recently lowered its production forecasts for 2022 by 30 million units in the face of slowing demand and global economic challenges. Earlier this week, the company unveiled its latest foldable flagships — the Galaxy Z Fold 4 and Flip 4.