Carrie Mihalcik | CNET.Com
Troy Warren for CNT #Technology
Jay Y. Lee, who had been the de facto head of Samsung, was serving time for charges related to bribery.
Samsung’s de facto leader will reportedly be released from prison on parole later this week. Jay Y. Lee, who was serving a two-and-a-half-year sentence for bribery charges, was granted parole at a review meeting on Monday, reported The Wall Street Journal, citing South Korea’s justice ministry.
Lee was Samsung’s vice chairman and had acted acted as the company’s de facto head since his father, Lee Kun-Hee, suffered a heart attack in 2014. He faced up to 12 years in prison after being charged with bribery in 2017. The case was part of a corruption scandal that led to the impeachment of former South Korean president Park Geun-hye.
The case has taken several twists. Lee was originally sentenced to five years in prison in 2017, but that was later reduced to two and a half years before being suspended. The country’s Supreme Court ordered a retrial, and Lee was sentenced to 30 months in prison, which started in January.
Lee is expected to be released on Friday, according to the Journal. Under South Korean law, Lee reportedly won’t be able to work for five years and faces restrictions on overseas travel. The Justice Ministry can grant exceptions, but it’s unclear if that will happen, according to the Journal.
Lee is also facing a separate trial related to a controversial 2015 merger and alleged accounting fraud tied to his succession bid at the electronics giant.
Samsung didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.
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