Samsung vice president and heir Lee Jae-yong will be released from prison on Friday after being released on probation to mark South Korea’s Liberation Day.
Lee was sentenced to two and a half years in prison in January for his role in a national bribery scandal. Just seven months later, Lee will be out of prison, on probation.
On Monday, the South Korean Ministry of Justice reported that Lee would be released along with 810 other prisoners on Friday. reports CNN. The group was granted parole to mark the liberation day, which marked the end of Japanese imperial rule over Korea in 1945.
The parole of prisoners occurs regularly on the day, with more than 600 released in 2020. According to Minister Park Beom-kye, the increased number of people on parole is due “to the overcrowded condition of the prisons that are vulnerable to infectious diseases, ad to help overcome our economic condition “.
While on probation, Lee may not necessarily return to lead Samsung, due to a five-year employment ban under the country’s law. You are also not allowed to go abroad for business trips while you are serving your probation period, although you can request an exception from the Ministry of Justice.
The January ruling was the product of a retrial of a bribery case involving former South Korean President Park Geun-hye, in which Lee was found guilty of bribery, embezzlement and concealment of criminal proceeds valued at $ 8.6 billion. won ($ 7.8 million).
The original 2017 trial had Lee charged with paying bribes of up to 43 billion won ($ 37 million) to non-profit organizations linked to Park Geun-hye’s confidant, Choi Soon-sil. In return, Park was said to have agreed to the merger of two Samsung affiliates in 2015, helping Lee’s position within the family conglomerate, known as chaebol.
Though he will be out of prison soon, Lee’s legal troubles will not end, as a separate trial is underway on that 2015 merger.