The South Korean authorities, have pardoned former President Park Geun-hye, who was serving time in prison for corruption.
The country’s Justice Ministry which made the announcement on Friday, said Park’s pardon “is aimed at promoting national unity in the face of difficulties caused by the coronavirus pandemic.”
Park Geun-hye was arrested and sent to prison in 2017, after being removed from office following a corruption scandal that prompted months of protests.
She was on a list of people receiving special amnesty and was pardoned from “a perspective of national unity”, Justice Minister Park Beom-kye explained to reporters following the ministry’s announcement.
The Justice Minister was quoted as saying that the former president’s pardon was discussed during a two-day meeting of the ministry’s amnesty review committee earlier this week, adding that the health factor “was a very important criterion” in the amnesty decision.
Park, the daughter of late authoritarian President Park Chung-hee, was South Korea’s first female president.
The 69-year-old was serving a 20-year prison sentence for bribery and abuse of power, with another two years after that for election law violations.
The corruption scandal had exposed shady links between big businesses and politics in South Korea, with Park and her close friend Choi Soon-sil accused of taking bribes from conglomerates, including Samsung Electronics, in exchange for preferential treatment.
Park had pleaded her innocence to the charges, saying she never accepted the money, claiming that the charges were fabricated as part of political revenge by a conservative government against her administration.
Park’s predecessor Lee Myung-bak, who is also imprisoned, was not pardoned. He is serving a 17-year prison sentence over embezzlement and bribery convictions.
Join the conversation
Support Ripples Nigeria, hold up solutions journalism
Balanced, fearless journalism driven by data comes at huge financial costs.
As a media platform, we hold leadership accountable and will not trade the right to press freedom and free speech for a piece of cake.
If you like what we do, and are ready to uphold solutions journalism, kindly donate to the Ripples Nigeria cause.
Your support would help to ensure that citizens and institutions continue to have free access to credible and reliable information for societal development.
FEATURES: Rise in Monkeypox infection troubling Nigeria’s rural population
In this features, KELECHUKWU IRUOMA goes into the rural communities of Bayelsa State, south-south Nigeria to uncover the plight of...
SPECIAL REPORT: Kwara communities groan as erosion washes away roads, property
For a number of years communities in Ilorin South LGA of Kwara State have had to live with the menace...
SPECIAL REPORT: Lack of legal provisions, cultural sentiments fueling marital r*pe in Nigeria
By Arinze Chijioke In the early days of Sandra Izuckukwu’s marriage in 2019, her husband, Sunday Izuchukwu, did everything she...
INVESTIGATION… LIVES ON THE LINE (IV): Surviving in a dangerous media environment
This investigation is on the unresolved killing of three Nigerian journalists while on assignments between 2019 and 2020. For six...
INVESTIGATION… LIVES ON THE LINE (III): Precious Owolabi was killed covering a protest
This investigation is on the unresolved killing of three Nigerian journalists while on assignments between 2019-2020. For six months, Nigerian...