By Frances Mao
August 12, 2022
Samsung heir Lee Jae-yong – convicted of bribery and embezzlement in 2017 – has been granted a special presidential pardon.
One of South Korea’s most powerful white collar criminals, Lee was twice imprisoned for bribing a former president.
South Korea’s government justified the move, saying the de-facto leader of the country’s biggest company was needed back at the helm to spearhead economic recovery post-pandemic.
This marks another swing in a struggle over how the country is run that has raged since mass protests took over Seoul six years ago and ousted a president from office.