Seoul, Dec 24 (EFE).- The South Korean government said Friday it pardoned Park Geun-Hye, the disgraced ex-president sentenced to more than 20 years in prison for a massive corruption scam.
Park is on a list of people the government has given amnesty and would be set free on New Year’s eve.
The decision to pardon the former president was taken because of the deteriorating health conditions of the 69-year-old leader, said the government.
Park was hospitalized thrice this year for chronic lower back and shoulder pain. She had surgery in 2019.
She was sentenced to 22 years in prison in 2017 after the first woman president of South Korea was impeached and ousted following the corruption scandal that sparked massive street protests.
Many expected her successor, President Moon Jae-in, to grant her clemency, as happened with other former South Korean presidents, like Roh Tae-woo or Chun Doo-hwan, jailed for corruption.
The decision comes just over three months before the next presidential elections.
A South Korean court found Park and her close confidant Choi Soon-Sil had taken bribes and favored large conglomerates, like Samsung Electronics, Hyundai, and Lotte, in exchange for preferential treatment.
The de facto leader of Samsung, Lee Jae-Yong, was sentenced to two and a half years in prison for paying bribes to the network led by Park and Choi.
Lee received a pardon in August.
The government defended the decision, arguing that it benefited the national economy. EFE