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Chairman of CJ Group, in custody for tax evasion, drops reappeal

All News 11:35 July 19, 2016

SEOUL, July 19 (Yonhap) -- The ailing chairman of South Korea's CJ Group, Lee Jay-hyun, who is now in custody on charges of embezzlement and tax evasion, dropped the reappeal on Tuesday, the group said.

The decision by Lee, who was sentenced to two and a half years in prison, raised the possibility that he could be included into next month's planned special pardon by President Park Geun-hye.

If Lee is included into the planned pardon, his guilt verdict should be upheld.

CJ Group, a food and entertainment conglomerate, said Lee decided to drop the reappeal with the Supreme Court because his health condition has "seriously deteriorated."

"Physically and mentally, it is difficult for him to continue a trial," the group said.

Lee also asked for a stay of sentence due to health reasons, according to the group.

In December last year, Lee filed an appeal with the Supreme Court for the second time arguing that he is innocent of the charges of breach of trust.

Lee, who has undergone a kidney transplant, claims that he suffers from multiple illnesses, including 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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