CJ Chairman Seeks Suspension of Jail Term for Medical Treatment

Michael Song, Nov. 11, 2015, 10:10 a.m.

The chairman of food and entertainment conglomerate CJ Group, who is currently under retrial, has requested a suspension of execution of his three-year jail term, citing the need for medical treatment, officials said Wednesday. Lee Jay-hyun has asked the Seoul High Court for another extension of custody suspension. His confinement has been suspended since August 2013 for several times until Nov. 21.

Lee was indicted in 2013 on suspicions of misappropriating some 160 billion won (US$130 million) in company assets to offshore slush funds and dodging taxes in the process. He was sentenced to three years in jail and fined 25.2 billion won by the court. The Supreme Court, however, in September reversed a lower court's ruling on Lee's breach of trust charges and sent the case back to the appellate court.

The first hearing in the retrial was held on Tuesday. The sentencing is slated for Dec. 15. Lee, who has undergone a kidney transplant, claims that he suffers from multiple illnesses such as Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and kidney disease. Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease is an inherited neurological disease characterized by the slow, progressive degeneration of the muscles in the feet, lower legs and hands.

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