Former President Park files for suspension of prison sentence


Former President Park Geun-hye, now serving jail time for abuse of power and corruption, filed for suspension of her sentence on Wednesday, saying her health has badly deteriorated due to the lengthy detention. Park’s petition for disimprisonment was filed with the Seoul Central District Prosecutors’ Office by her lawyer Yoo Young-ha, about two years after she was detained, on March 31, 2017.


Park has been sentenced to a 25-year prison term and a 20 billion won (US$17.7 million) fine after being convicted by local and appellate courts of power abuse and various corruption charges. She was also sentenced to an additional six years in prison for coercing and accepting illegal funds from various government offices, including the National Intelligence Service. Last November, Park drew a two-year prison term for election law violations from a Seoul appellate court. Her cases are now all pending in the Supreme Court. The petition was filed as Park’s status was changed to that of a convicted prisoner in the day under the nation’s criminal laws.


Yoo said in the petition that the 67-year-old former president’s cervical and lumbar disc symptoms have not improved at all and she was not sleeping normally due to extreme physical pain. “I recommended a request of bail to former President Park last August but she refused. But considering her health conditions, it is no longer possible to treat her in the detention center,” Lee said. “It is an inhumane act for the incumbent government, which promotes human rights as its highest value, to overlook the ailing and aged former female president,” he said, calling for her to be released for the sake of “national unity.”


The Criminal Procedure Act stipulates that prosecutors can suspend the execution of sentences, such as prison terms, if convicted prisoners are deemed to lack communication abilities due to mental or physical ailments. The Seoul prosecutors office said it will soon hold a deliberation committee meeting to review Park’s petition.



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