back to article Samsung heir pardoned after doing time for bribery

South Korean president Yoon Suk Yeol issued a widely anticipated pardon for Samsung heir and vice chairman Lee Jae-yong that came into effect today. Lee was already out of jail on parole after spending 18 months in prison on bribery charges. The true value in the pardon lies in permission for Lee to engage in business …

  1. b0llchit Silver badge
    Facepalm

    Capitalism for the Win

    Don't mind the bribes. Don't mind the drugs. Don't mind the accounting "errors". We need capitalism to prevent us from having less monetary privileges than the neighbours. We need more, don't mind how, just more.

    Sigh.

    When the convicted are released early to save you and your country, you should take a step back and sincerely start wondering whether you are doing it wrong.

    1. Cederic Silver badge

      Re: Capitalism for the Win

      Surely this is corruption not capitalism?

      The bit I can't work out is how one individual can matter so much for the country's economic health. The company will continue to operate and be successful without him. The claim that this is necessary for economic reasons just doesn't feel credible.

      So now I have a less than positive view of the South Korean President.

      1. badflorist Bronze badge

        Re: Capitalism for the Win

        "Surely this is corruption not capitalism?"

        Do you still think there's a difference?

        1. DS999 Silver badge

          Capitalism and corruption

          One always goes with the other, similar to how communism and authoritarianism always go with one another. And for the same reasons - because both systems have their flaws, and those flaws lead to negative consequences that come along for the ride.

          In the case of communism, because once you get beyond a community the size of "everyone knows everyone else" or at most one Bacon number distant ("everyone knows someone who knows everyone else") it just doesn't work and needs to be forced on a population against their will.

          In the case of capitalism, when your whole system is based on private ownership of means of production and the profits derived from them, then those who hold public office are defacto private owners of the means of producing political outcomes, so they profit from "political favors" exchanged for money or other goods/favors like in any other market.

          1. M.V. Lipvig Silver badge

            Re: Capitalism and corruption

            Quite a bit of corruption under communism as well, unless you think the party leaders are waiting in the same bread and votka lines as the truck drivers and ditch diggers.

      2. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

        Re: Capitalism for the Win

        >So now I have a less than positive view of the South Korean President.

        Samsung may have to fire him

      3. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        Re: Capitalism for the Win

        "The bit I can't work out is how one individual can matter so much for the country's economic health."

        The BBC gave a better report into the background of these huge cheabols.

  2. Howard Sway Silver badge

    Lee became the head of Samsung after his father

    So, the country's a republic, but their biggest companies are hereditary monarchies?

    Strange thinking : we desperately need the corrupt drug addict fraudster back in charge in order for our country to really succeed. Nobody could possibly be more effective and reliable.

    1. Gene Cash Silver badge

      Re: Lee became the head of Samsung after his father

      That is exactly what a "chaebol" is

    2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      Re: Lee became the head of Samsung after his father

      On the other hand, if one of the "kings" dies unexpectedly, before the slow and tax free (or at least tax low) processes are started or completed, it can get expensive to inherit.

      "After Samsung Group Chairman Lee Kun-hee passed away in 2021, South Korea’s inheritance tax made headlines as Lee’s family was saddled with a world-record breaking inheritance tax estimated at KRW 12 trillion (over USD 10 billion)."

      It's not a straightforward "The king is dead, long live the king" process, even there.

    3. abstract

      Re: Lee became the head of Samsung after his father

      This is exactly the way France works and even worse as it is in the hands of some sort of sect that protects itself. In France, the corruption case would simply never have had appeared.

      The thing is even more obvious when one looks at all the fines that France was exposed to by the European Commission because it refused to apply the rules of unrestricted access to it's market by other EU members.

  3. pavel.petrman Silver badge

    Independece Day

    South Korea's Independence Day – a day on which the president traditionally offers leniency to business leaders...

    Independence of what? Rule of law?

    1. Plest Silver badge

      Re: Independece Day

      Law be damned, if you have enough money then the laws only apply to the "poor people"!

    2. gerdesj Silver badge

      Re: Independece Day

      Independence from Japan

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Independece Day

      As opposed to the other 364 days of the year ...

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