South Korea pardons imprisoned former President Park Guen-hye

Park guen-hye

According to the Justice Ministry, Park Guen-hye’s pardon is intended to promote national unity in the face of the coronavirus outbreak.

Former President Park Geun-hye, who is serving a lengthy prison sentence for a number of corruption offenses, has been granted a special pardon by South Korea.

Park guen-hye
Former South Korean president Park Guen-hye accompanied by 2 female prison wardens.

Park’s pardon, according to the justice ministry, is intended to promote national unity in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic’s challenges.

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Following the ministry’s announcement, Justice Minister Park Beom-kye revealed to reporters that she was on a list of those receiving special amnesty and that she was pardoned from “a standpoint of national unity.”

The former president’s pardon was addressed during a two-day meeting of the ministry’s amnesty assessment committee earlier this week, according to the Yonhap news agency.

He stated that the health element “was a very crucial criterion” in the decision to grant amnesty.

After being dismissed from office due to a corruption scandal that sparked months of mass protests, Park Guen-Hye was arrested and sentenced to prison in 2017.

Park Guen-Hye is the daughter of Park Chung-hee, the late authoritarian president of South Korea.

Park Guen-Hye was the first female president of South Korea.

The 69-year-old was serving a 20-year sentence for bribery and abuse of power, as well as an additional two years for violating election laws.

The judgment was affirmed by the country’s top court in January, putting the legal procedure to a close and, for the first time, increasing the possibility of a pardon.

Park and her close friend Choi Soon-sil were suspected of accepting bribes from conglomerates, including Samsung Electronics, in exchange for preferential treatment, exposing shady linkages between big business and politics in South Korea.

The public backlash against Park and her conservative party enabled Moon Jae-in, a left-wing politician, capture power.

Park has maintained her innocence, claiming that she never accepted the money. She alleged that the charges were made up as part of a conservative government’s political retaliation against the Roh administration.

Park’s predecessor, Lee Myung-bak, is still behind bars and has not been pardoned. He is currently serving a 17-year prison sentence for embezzlement and bribery.

Park’s pardon came as many followers and officials from the conservative main opposition People Power party called for it ahead of the presidential election in March 2022.

In recent surveys, Moon’s ruling Democratic Party’s flag bearer, Lee Jae-myung, and People Power’s candidate, Yoon Suk-yeol, have been neck and neck.


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