Samsung Group Chairman Lee Kun-hee has been pardoned, again. This time for his 2008 tax evasion and embezzlement convictions. The Korean businessman had been fined $109 million and given a three years suspended jail sentence.
The pardon enables Lee to resume activities as a Korean representative to the International Olympic Committee. That is in keeping with IOC policy. Crime does not exist in their world; they recognize only “occasional public safety challenges.” That allows bribery and other financial corruption but guards against rude signs.
In 1997, Mr. Lee was pardoned after a conviction for bribing the former Korean dictator Roh Tae-woo.
In 2005, aides of Lee were found guilty of selling undervalued corporate assets to the tycoon’s son. Prosecutors accused Mr. Lee of orchestrating the deal, but the court found there was not enough evidence of Mr. Lee’s involvement, a ruling that many found hard to accept.