Former Samsung head and International Olympic Committee (IOC) member Lee Kun- Hee was pardoned by the South Korean government, the justice minister said Tuesday. He had been found guilty on illegal securities transactions. The pardon takes effect on December 31.
The decision came after business and sports circles had demanded Lee’s pardon for the need to boost economic revitalization and PyeongChang’s bid for the 2018 Winter Olympic Games.
Justice Minister Lee Kwi-nam announced the decision on the special pardon at a news conference Monday.
The decision was made so that Lee’s position as IOC member could be reinstated and “form a better situation for the 2018 Olympics to take place in PyeongChang”, said the Justice Minister.
We appreciate the government’s decision at this crucial time,” said Kim Man-ki, public affairs head of the PyeongChang bid committee. “We will do our best to win the bid.”