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4th South Korean president jailed for corruption receives pardon

Park Geun-hye, one of the four ex South Korean presidents to be jailed, has been pardoned to promote “national unity” 18 months after she was sentenced to 20 years on corruption charges that had brought down her administration.

69-year-old Park, who was South Korea’s first female president, was forced out of office in 2017 when she was impeached over a corruption scandal. She was later charged and convicted of bribery, abuse of power and election law violations. 

Her downfall and the public anger against her party helped incumbent President Moon Jae-in and his Democratic Party secure power. 

In January, South Korea’s highest court upheld Park’s conviction and sentence, ending the legal proceedings and opening the door for a pardon to be granted. 

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FILE PHOTO: Park Geun-hye is escorted to Seoul District Court © REUTERS/Jung Yeon-Je
South Korean ex-president Park Geun-hye gets reduced 20-year jail sentence in corruption trial

Announcing the pardon, Moon’s government stated that it was designed to “overcome unfortunate past history, promote people’s unity and join hands for the future,” hoping that it will “open a new era of integration.”

Park has repeatedly claimed she is innocent of all charges and stated that she never accepted any money. Following the pardon, through her lawyer, Park offered an apology to the public for the whole saga and thanked Moon for his decision.

The decision to pardon Park marks a reversal from Moon’s previously state position to not pardon individuals convicted of corruption. However, with an increasingly tight presidential election approaching, he conceded to calls from Park’s People Power party to pardon her due to her deteriorating health and political division in the country.

A poll conducted by Gallup Korea back in November showed that 48% of voters opposed pardoning Park, although that marked a decrease from around 60% earlier in the year.

Park was the third South Korean president to be convicted on corruption charges, following Chun Doo-hwan and Roh Tae-woo. Both Chun and Roh were pardoned a year after their convictions. After Park’s conviction, South Korea’s 10th president, Lee Myung-bak, was sentenced to 15 years in prison for bribery, embezzlement and tax evasion during his time in office.

https://ift.tt/3yVOiwu 24, 2021 at 03:46PM
from RT – Daily news

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