In a recent ruling, a South Korean court has dismissed the charges of stock price manipulation and accounting fraud that were previously held against Samsung Electronics Chairman, Lee Je-yong. The charges were in relation to a merger that took place in 2015 between two Samsung subsidiaries. This merger had allegedly enabled Lee to further consolidate his control over the company, which is the largest in South Korea.
The prosecution had argued that the merger was executed through illegal means. However, the court has concluded that the prosecution did not provide sufficient evidence to prove the illegality of the merger. Consequently, the charges against Lee were dropped.
Prior to this verdict, Lee had already spent a significant amount of time in prison. He was convicted in 2017 on charges of bribery and served an 18-month prison sentence. Despite these previous legal troubles, Lee continues to hold a high position in one of South Korea’s most powerful corporations.
This recent ruling is particularly significant as it comes less than two years after Lee was pardoned for another conviction. In that case, he was found guilty of bribing a former president of South Korea. This scandal was a significant event as it resulted in the downfall of the previous government. Despite the severity of these charges, Lee was pardoned and continues to maintain his position within Samsung Electronics.