South Korea's president pardons Samsung vice chairman

Ahead of Liberation Day anniversary, president grants pardons to over 1,600 people.

South Korea's president pardons Samsung vice chairman

South Korea’s president announced a pardon Friday for Samsung Electronics Vice Chairman Lee Jae-yong in a bribery case, local media reported.

It marked the first special pardon by President Yoon Suk-yeol since he took office in May this year.

Yoon granted pardons to Lee, Lotte Group Chairman Shin Dong-bin and 1,691 others on the occasion of next week's Liberation Day anniversary, Yonhap News Agency reported.

Lee Jae-yong was released on parole last year after serving 19 months for bribing former South Korean President Park Geun-hye.

Earlier reports said Yoon would also announce a pardon for 81-year old former President Lee Myung-bak, but his name was not included in the list, according to the report.

President Yoon hoped the move would have a positive effect on people’s livelihoods.

"Through these pardons, I hope to stabilize the livelihoods of the people that are difficult due to the prolonged COVID-19 pandemic and give opportunity and hope for ordinary citizens and vulnerable members of our society, including small businesses and merchants, to get back on their feet," the agency quoted Yoon as saying.