Former South Korean President Park Geun-Hye, who is serving a lengthy jail sentence for bribery and other offences, was granted a special pardon on Friday by the South Korean government.
Park’s pardon, according to the Justice Ministry, is aimed at resolving previous divides and building national unity in the face of the coronavirus pandemic’s challenges.
According to the ministry, Park, who is 69 years old, is one of 3,094 persons who will be pardoned on December 31.
“By overcoming the traumas of the past, we may progress into a new age.” “Rather than battling against each other while being fixated with the past, it’s time to courageously bring together all of our capabilities for the future,” President Moon Jae-in said in a statement.
“In the instance of former President Park, we took into account the fact that her health had deteriorated significantly after nearly five years in jail,” he explained.
After being dismissed from office due to a corruption scandal that sparked months of public protests, Park was arrested and sentenced to jail in 2017. Her demise was a dramatic reversal of fortune for the country’s first female president and a conservative idol.
The Supreme Court of South Korea affirmed her 20-year sentence in January. Because she was convicted of tampering in her party’s nominations before the 2016 parliamentary elections, she faced a total sentence of 22 years in prison.
Park has stated that she is the victim of political retaliation. Since October 2017, she has refused to appear in court.
Park is the daughter of Park Chung-hee, a former totalitarian president. She was elected in late 2012, riding a surge of conservative popularity that hailed her father as a hero who, despite his repression of civil rights, lifted the country out of poverty.
In December 2016, parliament impeached her, and she was legally ousted from office in March 2017 when the Constitutional Court affirmed the impeachment.
While she was in government, she was accused of conspiring with her longtime friend, Choi Soon-Sil, to accept millions of dollars in bribes and extortion money from some of the country’s top corporations, including Samsung.
Moon Jae-in, a liberal, was elected in an extraordinary by-election after she was deposed.
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