South Korea’s ex-president, Park Geun-Hye, freed after nearly 5 years in prison

Park Geun-Hye was seen departing a Seoul hospital, where she had been obtaining medical care since last month after correctional officials handed a letter of pardon at midnight

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Park geun hye
(Photo credit JUNG YEON-JE/AFP via Getty Images)

Former South Korean President, Park Geun-Hye, was set free on Friday, nearly five years after being prosecuted for corrupt practices, sparking an assumption about whether she would run for president in March.

When the Constitutional Court issued a parliamentary vote to overthrow Park in 2017 over a controversy that ended in the conviction of the CEOs of two businesses, Samsung and Lotte, Park, 69, became the country’s first democratically elected president to be removed from power.

South Korea’s top court affirmed a 20-year prison sentence levied after Park was tried and convicted of collaborating with a friend, who is also in prison, to obtain tens of billions of won from companies, mostly just to fund her friend’s family and non-profit foundations.

Park was granted special forgiveness by President Moon Jae-in last week, stressing her declining health and professing intention to resolve sad past history and create unification in the country.

Park Geun-Hye was seen departing a Seoul hospital, where she had been obtaining medical care since last month after correctional officials handed a letter of pardon at midnight.

Park, the daughter of a past military ruler, did not respond to a request for comment, but her lawyer has apologized for raising public concerns and praised Moon for undertaking a hard decision.

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