Lee Jae Yong, an heir to Samsung, was given a presidential pardon on Friday by South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol, allowing him to resume his business endeavors despite having been found guilty of wrongdoing.
Among the 1,700 people the president had pardoned, the 54-year-old vice-chairman of the world’s largest smartphone manufacturer, Samsung Electronics, received the most attention.
Mr. Lee, the grandson of the founder of Samsung, Lee Byung Chul, was given a second prison term in 2021 for corruption but was given an early conditional release seven months later.
With the relaxation of the conditions on his release from prison, he is now free to engage in his economic operations as a result of the presidential pardon.
The Samsung heir, however, is still subject to legal action for manipulating stock prices. He disputed the charges.
The pardons will take effect on August 15 in recognition of the nation’s 1945 liberation from Japanese colonial domination.
Amnesties or mass pardons are frequently used to honor the day.
Shin Dong Bin, the head of the Lotte Group, who was serving a two and a half year sentence for corruption, is among those who have received pardons this year.
The former president Park Geun Hye, who was at the center of a massive corruption investigation, was found guilty of involvement in it and expelled from office in March 2017. The Samsung heir was also found guilty.
In January 2021, the court determined after a fresh trial that Mr. Lee had given money to Mr. Park and one of her close aides in exchange for their cooperation in relation to a change in power at Samsung, the nation’s largest conglomerate, or chaebol.