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Samsung heir is out of jail – again

SEOUL – Lee Jae-yong, the vice-chairman, heir and de facto head of national flagship and global mega-brand Samsung Electronics, will be released from prison Friday after serving eight months of a two-and-a-half-year sentence for bribery.

Lee, also known as JY, was sentenced in January in a retrial of a case that also impacted former President Park Geun-hye, who is serving a 33-year compound sentence for corruption and abuse of power.

The parole decision was taken by the Justice Ministry as part of a program that takes effect every year around August 15, the anniversary of liberation from Japanese colonial rule in 1945. Altogether, 810 people are being paroled.

The controversial tycoon was paroled “in consideration of the national economic situation and the global economic environment” amid the Covid-19 pandemic, the Ministry of Justice said in a statement released to foreign reporters. The ministry “comprehensively considered” various factors, including “society’s emotions,” the release stated.