South Korea’s President Yoon Suk-yeol pardoned Samsung Electronics Vice Chairman Lee Jae-yong for crimes including bribery, so the Asian country can overcome a national economic crisis.
“With urgent needs to overcome the national economic crisis, we carefully selected economic leaders who lead the national growth engine through active technology investment and job creation to be pardoned,” Justice Minister Han Dong Hoon said.
The Samsung heir was on parole since last year after serving 18 months in jail for bribery in a scandal that led to massive protests forcing the then-President Park Geun-hye to step down in 2017.
Lee had been heading Samsung since 2014 after his father fell into a coma.
After the historic decision, Samsung’s de facto leader was allowed a greater freedom to run the world’s biggest smartphone and memory-chip maker.
“I will work harder and fulfill my duties as an entrepreneur,” Lee said after his pardon was granted. “I will contribute to the economy through continuous investment and job creation for young people, and repay the expectations of the people and the government’s consideration.”
According to analysts Lee now will face fewer legal restrictions, and could open doors for large investments.