Samsung chief may get presidential pardon as company faces chip challenge

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In the coming days, Samsung Electronics Vice Chairman Lee Jae-yong may become the most recent South Korean corporate titan to be granted a presidential pardon, potentially releasing him to take over for his late father as the company’s CEO and deal with challenges it faces, such as the global semiconductor shortage.

Prior to South Korea’s annual Liberation Day celebration on August 15, when amnesties are customarily granted, President Yoon Suk-yeol might make the change. According to Yonhap News Agency, the Justice Ministry started a meeting on pardons on Tuesday. Following the discussions, the justice minister will produce a list of candidates for Yoon to accept and have his cabinet confirm.

After being found guilty of bribery and embezzlement in January of last year, Lee, the heir to the second-largest contract chip manufacturer in the world, was granted release in August after completing 18 months of a 30-month sentence.

Prime Minister Han Duck-soo responded in the affirmative when asked in parliament if he would suggest that President Yoon Suk-yeol reconsider pardons for significant corporate figures, including Lee.

(With inputs from agencies)

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