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Former Samsung chairman pardoned by South Korean president

Lee Kun Hee, the second-generation former chairman of family-controlled Samsung Group, received an official pardon last week for his conviction for tax evasion.

The family patriarch was given a three year suspended prison sentence in July 2008 after being found guilty of tax evasion. 

After the announcement Lee Kwi Nam, South Korea's justice minister, said: "The decision was made so that Lee could take back his place on the International Olympic Committee and form a better situation for the 2018 Olympics to take place in Pyongchang."

Lee Kun Hee (pictured) stepped down as chairman of Samsung, South Korea's largest conglomerate, in April 2008 after the scandal first emerged. (Click here to read our coverage of the story) He was also convicted of breach of trust in August 2009 over a bond deal carried out in 1999 that was aimed at transferring ownership of the group to his son. (Click here to read our coverage of the story)

Last month saw Lee Kun Hee's son Lee Jae Yong promoted to executive vice president and chief operation officer of Samsung Electrical Group. (Click here to read our coverage of the story)

Samsung was founded in 1938 by Lee Kun Hee's father and grown into the international company it is today by Lee Kun Hee, who joined the family business in 1987 and lead it for 20 years. Today, the Samsung Group has revenues of $90 billion, is the world's largest maker of memory chips and the world's second-largest mobile phone handset maker.

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