Samsung’s vice-chair Lee Jae-yong will be given parole on Friday after serving just 18 months of his 30-month sentence, according to The Guardian. He is among 810 prisoners in the country who are being released from prison as part of Liberation Day – the day the country rid itself of Japanese invaders in 1945. Most recently, Lee was sent to prison in January following a retrial. At his retrial, he had his original 5-year sentence slashed to just 2.5 years.
Lee Jae-yong first got into legal hot water in February 2017 when he was arrested for bribery after donating money to two non-profits operated by former President Park Geun-hye who is currently serving a 20-year sentence herself.
According to the Guardian, he will be released for political, public, and business reasons. Apparently, there is anxiety in the country because important decisions are not being taken at Samsung without him there. This was seen most recently when it was reported that Xiaomi had overtaken Samsung to become the leader of the global smartphone market.
Lee will be able to return to work with the authorisation of the country’s justice minister. As an interesting by-product of his arrest, his family said they were going to pay 12 trillion won in inheritance tax and donate his artwork collection to the South Korean national museum. His collection includes works by Salvador Dalí, Pablo Picasso, and Claude Monet.