The Wall Street Journal: Samsung scion Lee Jae-yong to receive pardon from South Korea’s president


SEOUL — Samsung’s de facto leader, Lee Jae-yong, will receive a pardon on Monday, South Korea’s presidential office said, a legal reprieve underpinned by expectations that the business tycoon will help propel the nation’s economy.

Lee, twice imprisoned for bribing South Korea’s former president, will have his criminal record from his 2017 conviction wiped clean. But the grandson of Samsung’s founder still has unresolved legal woes related to an accounting scandal that could land him back in jail if he is found guilty. Lee, who goes by Jay Y. Lee in the West, has denied wrongdoing.

All major decisions across the Samsung

conglomerate, which spans smartphones to insurance to electronic-vehicle batteries, require Lee’s signoff. Samsung didn’t have an immediate comment.

Lee, 54 years old, had won parole a year ago from a 30-month sentence tied to his bribery conviction. His release came with restrictions, such as a five-year employment ban and limits on overseas travel.

An expanded version of this report appears on

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