Lee Jae-yong: heir to Samsung business empire convicted of drug offenses

Samsung’s troubled heir Lee Jae-yong was convicted and fined for using the sedative propofol.

Under South Korean law, the recipients as well as the administrators of a controlled drug can be prosecuted. The drug is commonly used to calm patients down, but it is said to be used recreationally as well.

Although the drug is less likely to be misused, fines are more common than jail time.

Lee, 53, was fined £ 43,000 after prosecutors said at trial he used the drugs on multiple occasions between 2015 and 2020.

While prosecutors claimed he used the drug under the guise of treating the skin, Lee’s attorneys said he used the drugs to deal with the psychological stress of his legal battles and his illness. father, BBC reported.

Lee, who pleaded guilty to the charges, was published on parole only in August, where he served for over 18 months for embezzling millions of dollars in corporate funds to bribe former South Korean President Park Geun-hye.

The case had sparked protests in South Korea and led to Park’s ouster and impeachment.

Lee was released after business leaders and key members of Moon Jae-in’s government pleaded for his freedom, citing challenges the nation faces in the semiconductor industry.

The company has since invested £ 150 billion in biopharmaceuticals and chips, reported BBC.

Mr. Moon’s office, however, distanced itself from Lee’s early release in August, saying parole was decided by the Department of Justice.

Lee is the third-generation leader of the Samsung conglomerate, founded by his grandfather. He is vice president of Samsung Electronics, one of the world’s largest manufacturers of computer chips and smartphones.

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