South Korea's disgraced ex-president Park freed after nearly five years in prison

31/12/2021 10:28:00 AM

South Korea's disgraced ex-president Park freed after nearly five years in prison - Reuters

South Korea's disgraced ex-president Park freed after nearly five years in prison - Reuters

SEOUL (Dec 31): Former South Korean president Park Geun-hye was released from prison on Friday nearly five years after being convicted of corruption, fuelling debate over whether she would play any role ahead of a March presidential election.Park, 69, was the country's first democratically elected leader to be thrown out of office when the Constitutional Court upheld a parliament vote in 2017 to impeach her over a scandal that also led to the imprisonment of the chiefs of two

A SEOUL (Dec 31): Former South Korean president Park Geun-hye was released from prison on Friday nearly five years after being convicted of corruption, fuelling debate over whether she would play any role ahead of a March presidential election.S.A SEOUL (Dec 31): South Korea said on Friday it will extend stricter social distancing rules for two weeks amid a persistent surge in serious coronavirus infections and concerns over the spread of the highly contagious Omicron variant.9:44 AM South Africa has recalled rules that no longer required people without symptoms of Covid-19 to isolate or test if they have been in contact with a positive case, the government announced on Tuesday, saying an amended circular will be re-issued.

Park, 69, was the country's first democratically elected leader to be thrown out of office when the Constitutional Court upheld a parliament vote in 2017 to impeach her over a scandal that also led to the imprisonment of the chiefs of two conglomerates, Samsung and Lotte.South Korea's top court in January upheld a 20-year prison sentence imposed after Park was found guilty of colluding with a friend, who is also in jail, to receive tens of billions of won from the companies, mostly to fund her friend's family and non-profit foundations.1%: poll park SEOUL (Xinhua): Former South Korean president Park Geun-hye (pic) was released from imprisonment on Friday (Dec 31) under a special pardon granted by President Moon Jae-in, according to Yonhap news agency.President Moon Jae-in granted a special pardon to Park last week, citing her deteriorating health and expressing hope to"overcome unfortunate past history and promote national unity".The extension is also aimed at bracing for a further spread of Omicron cases by using the time to secure more hospital beds and encourage a booster vaccine shot campaign, Prime Minister Kim Boo-kyum said.Broadcasters showed Park leaving a Seoul hospital, where she had stayed since last month for medical treatment, after correction officials delivered a letter of pardon at midnight.The 69-year-old, after receiving shoulder surgery in 2019, allegedly planned to get treatment at the hospital until Feb 2 next year.She did not comment but her lawyer has said Park, the daughter of a former military ruler, had offered an apology for causing public concern and thanked Moon for making a"tough decision".

Park's release comes as her old party, the main opposition conservative People Power Party, and Moon's Democratic Party are in a tight presidential race.She was sentenced to a combined 22-year prison term and had served the sentence since 2017 after being impeached and removed from office over corruption charges.Unvaccinated people can only dine out alone, or use takeout or delivery services.Her imprisonment divided the country, with right-wing, pro-Park groups staging weekly rallies to denounce Moon and his policies and call for Park's release, until Covid-19 distancing rules stifled the rallies last year.Hundreds of Park's supporters braved freezing temperatures to flock to the hospital where she was staying late on Thursday to celebrate her release, with more than 1,000 bouquets of flowers arriving.Park will be protected by the presidential security service, but she will not enjoy other privileges as a former president, including the provision of special pensions and personal secretaries, due to her conviction.About 200 people held a protest in downtown Seoul against her release, the Yonhap news agency reported.Health Minister Kwon Deok-cheol told a briefing the Omicron variant is likely to be dominant in the near future, as seen in the United States and much of Europe.It was not clear if Park would resume any political activity but she said in a memoir released on Thursday that her conviction was politically motivated and she expressed hopes to"meet the people again one day".

People Power's presidential candidate Yoon Suk-yeol, who investigated the Park scandal as prosecutor-general, said on Friday he had done his job as a public servant, adding he would like to visit Park when her health improved.Subscribe to Mid-day email alert We deliver news to your inbox daily.

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Mount corrupt to erupt again.

Former South Korean president Park Geun-hye set freeSEOUL (Xinhua): Former South Korean president Park Geun-hye was released from imprisonment on Friday (Dec 31) under a special pardon granted by President Moon Jae-in, according to Yonhap news agency. Staged just like 911 building demolition by dancing Israelis

South Korea to extend curbs amid Omicron surge, serious Covid-19 casesSEOUL (Dec 31): South Korea said on Friday it will extend stricter social distancing rules for two weeks amid a persistent surge in serious coronavirus infections and concerns over the spread of the highly contagious Omicron variant.The government reinstated the curbs on Dec 18, six weeks after easing them under a 'living with Covid-19' scheme, as record-breaking numbers of new infections and serious cases put a huge strain on the country's medical system.Daily tallies have since decreased, with 4,875

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