Business Lobbies Ask Moon to Pardon Samsung Chief

  • By Kim Ah-jin

    April 28, 2021 13:33

    Lee Jae-yong

    Korea's five major business lobbies have submitted a petition to Cheong Wa Dae to pardon Samsung chief Lee Jae-yong, who is serving the remainder of a two-and-a-half-year sentence for bribery and embezzlement.

    The Korea Enterprises Federation submitted the letter to the presidential office in the name of the chiefs of the five organizations on Monday, a spokesman said.

    "Korea could lose its No. 1 status in the semiconductor industry overnight if there is a delay in vital investment and strategic decisions because of the absence of a business leader who should oversee his company's management amid fierce competition in the industry," the letter said. "We urge you to make a decision guided by reconciliation and tolerance."

    But a Cheong Wa Dae official told reporters a pardon "is not being considered."

    A ruling-party official said, "The pardon will be possible only after the Supreme Court sentences him in another case" for his alleged involvement in accounting fraud during the merger of two Samsung affiliates that allowed Lee to take the helm of the conglomerate.

    Meanwhile, the Samsung heirs unveiled the details of their vast inheritance from patriarch Lee Kun-hee on Wednesday. They pledged to donate some 23,000 works by domestic and foreign artists and W1 trillion for the treatment of infectious diseases and rare cancers to offset their inheritance tax bill (US$1=W1,113).

    Their fortune was valued at around W26 trillion including W19 trillion in shares in Samsung subsidiaries, which entails an inheritance tax of over W12 trillion.

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