South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol granted special pardons to Samsung Electronics Vice Chairman Lee Jae-yong and Lotte Group Chairman Shin Dong-bin, the Ministry of Justice said Friday.
A total of 1,693 people received special presidential pardons, including Lee and Shin as well as other businessmen, key labor unionists and those who committed crimes for livelihood, according to the ministry.
It came three days ahead of the National Liberation Day on Aug. 15 to mark the 77th anniversary of the Korean Peninsula's liberation from the 1910-45 Japanese colonial rule. The pardons will be effective on Monday.
Lee, an heir apparent of South Korea's biggest family-run conglomerate Samsung Group, was sentenced to two and a half years in jail for corruption charges. He was released on parole in August last year.
Lee's prison term officially ended last month, but he required a pardon to have all his rights reinstated.
Shin, chairman of the country's fifth-largest conglomerate, was sentenced to two and a half years in jail suspended for four years over bribery.
The justice ministry said major businessmen were included in the pardons so that they can lead the economic recovery in the country through active investment and job creation.