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Korea’s enterprise leaders name on Moon to free jailed Samsung boss Lee By Reuters 


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© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: South Korean President Moon Jae-in in Washington, U.S., Might 21, 2021. REUTERS/Sarah Silbiger/File Photograph

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By Hyonhee Shin and Joyce Lee

SEOUL (Reuters) -Leaders of South Korea’s largest conglomerates urged President Moon Jae-in on Wednesday to pardon Jay Y. Lee, the jailed vice chairman of Samsung Electronics (OTC:) Co Ltd, to keep up the nation’s edge within the chip trade.

The plea was made throughout a luncheon between Moon and chiefs of 4 main enterprise empires – Samsung (KS:), Hyundai, LG and SK – designed to spice up financial cooperation after Moon and U.S. President Joe Biden agreed to bolster the worldwide provide chain for high-tech manufacturing.

Lee, the 52-year-old inheritor of the world’s greatest reminiscence chip maker and second-largest contract chip producer, has been sentenced to 30 months in jail after being convicted of bribery, embezzlement and different offences.

SK Group chairman Chey Tae-won requested Moon to contemplate a petition for Lee’s launch that was submitted in April collectively by 5 enterprise lobbies together with the Korea Chamber of Commerce and Business headed by Chey, in response to Moon’s spokeswoman Park Kyung-mee.

Moon replied that he “understood” difficulties for the businesses, Park stated. He didn’t elaborate, however appeared extra open to the thought after merely saying at a information convention in March that he would contemplate public opinion earlier than deciding.

Moon had vowed to not pardon critical financial crimes reminiscent of bribery and embezzlement earlier than taking workplace in 2017.

Authorized specialists consider Lee is eligible for parole, as he has served greater than half of his 30-month sentence. South Korean regulation permits parole to be granted after one-third of the sentence has been served, with the detainee displaying exemplary behaviour.

Enterprise leaders have highlighted the necessity for Lee to be lively to retain South Korea’s main place within the chip trade amid world shortages.

“Semiconductors require large-scale funding choices, and leaders can solely make such choices in a swift method,” stated Kinam Kim, vice chairman and CEO of Samsung’s machine enterprise.

Biden has referred to as for better South Korean funding, and Samsung confirmed a plan to funnel $17 billion into a brand new plant for chip contract manufacturing in the US throughout Moon’s journey to Washington.

Lee is in a novel place overseeing all three of Samsung’s divisions — chips, smartphones and residential home equipment, stated Park Jea-gun, a professor at Hanyang College in Seoul.

“It is laborious to make huge enterprise choices if not the proprietor,” Park stated.

However the Folks’s Solidarity for Participatory Democracy, an activist group that resists pardoning chaebol chiefs, issued an announcement saying releasing Lee would “abuse the authorized system to justify company crimes.”

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