Jailed Samsung head released on parole: What you need to know
Lee Jae-yong, head of electronics giant Samsung, was released on Friday on Parole. He was serving a two-and-a-half-year prison sentence for bribery, embezzlement, and other offenses in connection with the corruption scandal. This is the latest instance of how wealthy and influential people in South Korea are being treated as above the law.
Lee Jae-yong, 53, is the 202nd richest person in the world and has a net worth of $11.4 billion. Many people from the business and political domain started supporting the release of Jae-yong’s since they thought that there was a leadership vacuum at Samsung.
The judicial system said that Lee along with 800 other people have been given parole over the coronavirus pandemic's impact on the economy. When coming out from the prison, Lee said to the reporters, "I have caused too much concern to the people. I'm really sorry.”
Lee was initially jailed in 2017 but was later released when the bribery case against him was dismissed in the appeal’s court. However, Supreme Court later ordered a re-trial and jailed him.
Samsung is one of the largest family-controlled businesses in South Korea and is a major player in its economy. Samsung Electronics is the biggest smartphone maker in the world.