SEOUL, Jan. 26 (Yonhap) — Lee Jae-yong, the de facto head of Samsung Group, has expressed an apology to his employees following his imprisonment as he asked workers to maintain their work despite his absence, officials here said Tuesday.
Lee was sentenced to 2 1/2 years in prison by the Seoul High Court on Jan. 18 in a retrial of a bribery case involving former President Park Geun-hye. The vice chairman of Samsung Electronics Co. was put behind bars again less than three years after he was allowed to walk free.
In a message posted on Samsung’s intranet, Lee said he is sorry for his shortcomings and that he has let Samsung workers down again.
“I feel truly sorry for giving you all this big burden,” he said. “I will work on self-discipline and self-reflection in a humble way.”
This was Lee’s second message from prison following his first one Thursday, in which he promised his continuous support for the group’s compliance committee.
In his rare message to employees, Lee also asked the workers to stay united and move toward a goal of making a “New Samsung.”
“Samsung should move forward regardless of my situation,” he said. “We need to keep our promises made to people.”
Given the prison time he already has served, Lee will be freed in July 2022, unless he is granted a pardon or commutation. Both Lee and the prosecution on Monday said they will not appeal last week’s court verdict.
Meanwhile, Samsung’s independent compliance committee held a meeting Tuesday with representatives from seven key affiliates of the group to discuss compliance measures.