President Yoon Suk-yeol announced a special pardon for a number of leading Korean business conglomerates, including Vice Chairma Lee Jae-yong of the Samsung Business Group, Chairman Shin Donb-bin of the Lotte Business Group and a total of 1,691 other persons. It comes as a special pardon in celeration of the Liberation Day of Korea on August 15.
Some political leaders such as former President Lee Myung-bak and former Govenor Kim Kyoung-soo of the Gyeongsangam-do Province were excluded from the list of the Presidential Special Pardon.
Vice Chairman Lee of Samsung had been sentenced to two and half years in prison in connection with a bribery case involving former President Park Geun-hye, but was released on parole in August last year. Lee’s term officially ended on July 29, but he still is required to receive a pardon to have all his rights back.
There had been many media reports that the list of pardon would include the 81-year-old former President Lee Myung-bak and also, though in a sleser degree, former President Par Geun-hye. However, such actions did not happen presumably because of continuously falling popularity rating published by the news media.
The government announced on the 12th that, on the 15th of August, in commemoration of Liberation Day, special amnesty was granted to 1,693 people, including small business owners and small business owners, major businessmen, labor and management officials, and prisoners of special consideration.
The government also announced that it has taken special measures to reduce legal action for a total of 593,509 persons subject to administrative sanctions, such as those involved in the construction industry, private truck/passenger transport business, certified brokerage business, fishing license/permission, and driver’s license.
The competent government authorities said, “Considering that the majority of the people have been experiencing economic difficulties due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it has included small-medium business opeators/owners in amnesty to enhance the vitality of the economy for the people’s livelihood.”
The government authoroties also explained that they embraced and considered the socially underprivileged people by pardoning those in need of compassionate measures such as criminal offenders for the living of the poor, the disabled, seriously ill, and inmates with infants.
In addition to Vice Chairman Lee Jae-yong and Chairman Shin Dong-bin, Dongkuk Steel Chairman Jang Se-joo and former STX Group Chairman Kang Deok-soo were also included in the amnesty list.
The government also announced that it also pardoned eight labor-management officials, including former Chairman Cho Sang-soo of the Public Transport Union of the Confederation of Trade Unions, Vice Chairman Heo Kwon of the Korea Federation of Trade Unions, and CEO Han Young-seok of the Hyundai Heavy Industries.