The main business pressure groups in South Korea announced on Tuesday their submission of a call to the presidential office to free the leader of Samsung Group, Lee Jae-yong.
The group wants the pardon of the imprisoned leader citing the benefit of the local economy faced with insufficiency of semiconductors.
Among the business bodies who presented the pardon recommendation communication to Cheong Wa Dae on Monday are the Korea Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the Korea Federation of SMEs, the Korea International Trade Association, the Korea Enterprises Federation, and the Federation of Middle Market Enterprises of Korea.
“Our semiconductor industry is facing new risks and a challenging situation, and if we see a delay in investment and business decisions because of a leader’s absence who needs to oversee the company’s management amid fierce competition of the chip industry, the country may lose the No. 1 status in a day,” the companies said in a combined statement.
Samsung’s leader was slammed by two and a half year imprisonment by the Seoul High Court earlier this year.
The order was inline with a bribery case retrial which also involved ex-President Park Geun-hye.
Lee was imprisoned again shortly after he was freed.
With his accumulated time in prison, the vice chairman will enjoy his freedom by July next year unless he is provided with pardon.
His company is considered as the most huge chip producer globally. As well as a top 2 in the foundry industry.
Samsung Electronics has been mulling to establish a new chip establishment in the United States.
Apart from the main business sectors, Lee’s freedom was also called by other communities such as those connected in politics and religion.
Earlier this April, the country’s most huge Buddhist sect, the Jogye Order, turned in a communication to the government to provide Lee “another chance” for pitching in the nationwide economy. The same request was forwarded by the Korea Senior Citizens Association.
There were also petitions made by other groups on the Cheong Wa Dae website.
Despite these, the government maintained its prudence over the vice chairman’s freedom. For one, Justice Minister Park Beon-kye said that he has not gone through any probability that Lee would be freed soon.
Lee has recently gained attention in the country as he allegedly helped in securing a vaccine from Pfizer.
A report by The Korea Herald said the vice chairman facilitated the negotiation of South Korea and the vaccine developer to secure vaccine doses.
Health officials, over the weekend, said it has secured Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines sufficient for 20 million people.