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Chairman's pardon raises hopes for CJ Group

[THE INVESTOR] CJ Group is in high spirits with Chairman Lee Jay-hyun being included in the presidential pardon.

In a widely anticipated move, President Park Geun-hye on Aug. 12 approved the pardon of the CJ Group chairman. The pardon will take effect on Aug. 15, the 71st Liberation Day. 


CJ chairman Lee Jay-hyun
CJ chairman Lee Jay-hyun


Lee was found guilty of embezzlement and tax evasion, and was sentenced to 32-month imprisonment. He had appealed the decision, and until July 19 he had been reappealing the case. The reappeal was dropped on July 19, in a move widely considered to have been made in the hopes of being pardoned. Lee, who suffers from Charcot–Marie–Tooth disease, had spent much of his sentence on temporary suspension of sentence receiving medical treatment.

Although Lee will continue to receive intensive medical treatment for some time, the group expects Lee’s release to give its operations a boost.

“There will be no sudden changes in management,” a CJ Group official told the local media.

“However, investment and hiring that had stagnated over the past three years will be stimulated.”

Since Lee was taken into custody in 2013, CJ Group’s investments have fallen short of annual targets.

In 2013, the company had set an investment target of 3.2 trillion won (US$2.9 billion) but the actual figure came to 2.6 trillion won. In the following year, the figure came to 1.9 trillion won despite having set a target of 2.4 trillion won.

By Choi He-suk (cheesuk@heraldcorp.com)
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