Samsung Group’s independent compliance committee has recommended the company to follow applicable laws regarding employment restrictions on Vice Chairman Lee Jae-yong, the imprisoned de-facto leader of South Korea’s top conglomerate.
After hours of discussion, the compliance committee concluded that Samsung Electronics should obey relevant laws and prevent any illicit activities when the company proceeds with Lee’s case.
However, it said that the conditions and extent of employment regulations are vague, adding that the committee’s latest decision does not necessarily mean that it advises Samsung Electronics to remove Lee from his post.
“Lee’s employment issue is something that the committee cannot ultimately decide,” an official with the compliance committee said in a report by Yonhap news agency.
“The committee just recommended Lee and Samsung Electronics to not break laws when they deal with procedures regarding his employment issue.”
Last month, South Korea’s justice ministry confirmed that Lee is subject to employment restrictions under the law after he was put behind bars again in January.
Lee is currently serving a two-and-a-half year prison term for giving more than 8.6 billion won ($7.6 million) in bribes to then-President Park Geun-hye and her longtime friend Choi Soon-sil to win government support for a smooth father-to-son transfer of managerial power at Samsung.
Under the Act on the Aggravated Punishment of Specific Economic Crimes, those convicted of embezzlement or breach of trust involving amounts over 500 million won are banned from working for companies related with their crime, or any institution that receive government subsidies.
The ban lasts five years from the day an offender completes his or her jail term. Given the prison time he already has served, Lee is scheduled to be freed in July 2022.
The employment restrictions can be lifted if Lee gets a pardon and reinstatement, or receives the ministry’s approval after submitting an application.