Samsung Vice-Chairman Lee to be released after serving more than half of his bribery sentence

South Korea’s Ministry of Justice has decided to release Samsung Vice-Chairman Lee Jae-yong early after serving more than half of his sentence for bribery in a detention center in Seoul.

Lee had been granted parole after a committee met on Monday to review candidates eligible to be released, and the Samsung executive is set to leave the Seoul Detention Center later this week.

The decision to cut short Lee’s sentence comes after the leader of the technology company displayed good behavior during his time in prison, as well as meeting the requirement of serving over 60% of his incarceration period. The South Korean justice minister also stated that the “national economic situation and the global economic environment” during the Covid crisis was also a decisive factor.

Lee was found guilty of splashing out 8.6 billion won ($7.51 million) in bribes to former president Park Geun-hye via her assistant in order to win government support for a merger in 2015 between two Samsung affiliates. The chairman had previously been given a five-year sentence, which was later reduced to two-and-a-half years.

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Despite being released from prison, the Samsung boss is still facing a separate trial for charges linked to stock-price manipulation and auditing violations from the 2015 merger.

The billionaire had spent 18 months behind bars for his involvement in a corruption and embezzlement scandal that sent shockwaves through South Korea, resulting in nationwide protests and the impeachment of Park Geun-hye in 2017. Park, South Korea’s first female president, is now serving a reduced 20-year sentence for taking tens of millions of dollars from “chaebols,” family-owned conglomerates in the country.

The current president of South Korea, Moon Jae-in, pledged to lessen the influence of chaebols in the country and in politics after winning the election in 2017.

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Source:RT World News

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